KZN premier tells citizens ‘the Covid-19 storm is here’

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said the province had experienced its highest increases in Covid-119 cases to date. Image: Alon Skuy

KwaZulu-Natal is in the midst of weathering the Covid-19 storm, as confirmed by a drastic increase in positive cases over the past week.

Addressing the media on Sunday, premier Sihle Zikalala said the picture had dramatically changed.

“We have now arrived at a point where almost everyone knows somebody who has been infected with Covid-19. It is no longer a disease from the distance. It is here at home. It is now our friends, colleagues, neighbours, brothers, mothers and sisters who have confirmed they have tested positive. The storm is here, and can be seen through the unprecedented number of infections.”

He revealed that as of Saturday, the province has had 60,602 positive cases, of which 38,667 were still active, and 614 deaths. On Monday, the province recorded 3,459 new cases and 13 new deaths.

Zikalala said the province had experienced its highest increases to date.

“In just one week, we have had 2,557 new Covid-19 cases, 198 new deaths, and 10,196 additional recoveries.”

KwaZulu-Natal recorded 3,459 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths between Saturday and Monday
KwaZulu-Natal recorded 3,459 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths between Saturday and Monday Image: KZN provincial gov

He presented a provincial breakdown of the identified hotspot areas:

Ethekwini (30,074 cases, 345 deaths)

• Umlazi

• KwaMashu

• Phoenix

• Chatsworth

• Inanda

• Newlands

• Tongaat

• Pinetown

• Westville

• Ntuzuma

uMgungundlovu (9,015 cases, 85 deaths)

• Msunduzi (CBD), Elandskop, Grange, Bisley, Imbali, Lincoln Maede, Hayfields

• Montain Rise, Northdale, Scottsvile, Sobantu

• Mpofana (Townville)

• Mkhambathini (Maqongqo)

• Richmond (Thornville)

King Cetshwayo (4,188 cases, 50 deaths)

• Umlalazi (Nogobhoza reserve), Ezingwenya, Nkume, Island, Vuma, Eziqwaqweni, Edankweni, Imbizo, Emaqeleni, Umlalazi, Ezinkiliji, Amandawe

• Nkandla (within Ekombe Hospital and Mashinga)

• Umhlathuze (Ngwelezane township), Jabulani, Matsana and Qalakabusha correctional services, Ngwelezana township A & B sections.

• Mthonjaneni (Melmoth town), Thubalethu Phase 1-5, Mfanefile, Nkwenkwe, Mgabhi and Ndabazensangu area

Amajuba (3,110 cases, 19 deaths)

• Newcastle: Osizweni, Madadeni.

• Emadlangeni: Utrect town

• Dannhauser: Durnacol, Shepstone Lake

Ilembe (2,637 cases, 19 deaths)

•Ilembe

• Mandeni

Ugu (2,424 cases, 15 deaths)

• Port Shepstone

• Gamalakhe

• Margate

• Murchison

• Nzimakwe

• Harding

• Scottburgh

Zululand (2,095 cases, 16 deaths)

• Abaqulusi (Mondlo, Vryheid, Bhekuzulu, Hlobane)

• eDumbe (Paulpietersburg, Tholakele)

• Ceza (Echibini area, Brush area, Nsukazi area)

• Pongolo (Ncotshane, KwaLubisi)

• Nongoma (Dabhasi, Maphophoma, Nongoma Town, Usuthu, White City)

Harry Gwala (1,390 cases, 17 deaths)

• Umzimkhulu

uMzinyathi (1,299 cases, eight deaths)

• Pomeroy (Nhlanhleni)

• Msinga (Cosh wards, eSidakeni, Othulini Lwezulu)

Unallocated (809 cases, no deaths)

Zikalala highlighted the province had 1 822 patients admitted in both private(1,414, or 78%) and public (408, or 22%) hospitals as of Saturday.

“Of those admitted, 274 patients (15%) required intensive care services. Among those who required intensive care, 57% (156 patients) were ventilated. Other patients (203) were admitted in high care units in both private (198) and public (25) facilities.”

The number of hospital admissions in KwaZulu-Natal per district.
The number of hospital admissions in KwaZulu-Natal per district. Image: KZN provincial gov

Zikalala said Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital had 49% of patients admitted in intensive care units followed by Greys. Of those admitted in ICU, 81% were ventilated and more than half of the ventilated patients were admitted at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.

The number of hospital admissions in the province per hospital.
The number of hospital admissions in the province per hospital. Image: KZN provincial gov
Zikalala noted that the province had 1,105 vacant beds for isolation, intensive care, high care and persons under investigation (PUI).
The number of vacant beds in KwaZulu-Natal per district.
The number of vacant beds in KwaZulu-Natal per district. Image: KZN provincial gov
He said 2,167 health care workers have been infected with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. More than half of those infected are nurses.

“Of the total infected, 16 succumbed to the disease.”

Zikalala said the most common recorded comorbidities among the deceased include hypertension (29%) and diabetes mellitus (28%). The proportion of HIV-infected 57 (6%) deceased patients also increased.

“The number of deceased with no recorded comorbidities also increased.”

He said crime had drastically decreased in the province for the month of July.

“For the period  July 12 to 25 2020, we have noted a 24.2%.decrease in all contact crimes, which includes murders, attempted murders, assaults, sexual offences (which includes rapes) and robberies. During the same period, we have also noted a 28.8% reduction in property crimes, which includes burglaries (both business and residential), theft of motor vehicles, theft out of motor vehicles and stock theft.”

© TimesLIVE

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