Despite the rapid increase of positive COVID-19 cases, South Africa is yet to record any death from the virus.
Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, on Tuesday briefed the nation in Pretoria, updating the latest cases of the deadly virus to 554, an increase by 152 since Monday.
The increase comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown set to begin at midnight on Thursday.
Mkhize said most of the patients are in good health.
“We have five confessions, of people who tested positive but are now negative but were positive on the original list. Most of our people are in good condition many of them are no longer symptomatic and some of them are still being looked after at home,’’ he said.
There are, however, two patients who are in intensive care units of private hospitals.
Mkhize said even with the lockdown, he expects the number of positive COVID-19 cases to continue increasing and the curve to only start showing some desirable results a week or two into the lockdown.
“I hate to give you guess work, but we expect the number to increase…probably if there should be a change we should start seeing change not next week, but maybe in the second week. It has taken South Korea four weeks to start seeing the inflection of the curve,” he explained.
Gauteng still has the highest number of infections at 302, with a large number of them in Johannesburg. Western Cape is second with 113 cases, KwaZulu-Natal with 80 and Free State recorded 18 cases.
North West has added one more case on top of the four that were reported on Monday, making the total number of infections five. Mpumalanga remains at nine, Limpopo four, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape are still with two cases each.
Mkhize said South Africa has so far tested over 12 000 people, with 10 000 done at private laboratories and the remaining number in public facilities.