The Eastern Cape accounts for more than half of new COVID-19 cases

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday said he will be making his way to the Eastern Cape on Thursday to help deal with the resurgence in the province battered by the deadly virus.

the province currently has more than 8500 active cases and more than 4400 deaths, including those of United Democratic Movement deputy chairperson Mncedisi Filtane who died a day after the party’s senior leader Mongameli Bobani was buried owing to the deadly virus.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has also tested positive for COVID-19.

Mkhize’s office said he will be engaging with the provincial government to “assess the COVID-19 risks as well as conduct oversight visits to places of congregation like malls and taverns.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa this month warned that the Eastern Cape was showing signs of a resurgence in the deadly pandemic which has brought the world economy to a standstill.

The increases are being driven by massive spikes in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District in particular.

“The evidence suggests that the increases in the Eastern Cape could have been triggered by outbreaks in institutions of higher learning such as universities, schools and attendance by people at large gatherings,” the president said at the time.

The Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions also reported a rise in new cases and deaths this week.

In the past week, the United States reported the highest number of cases (over 1.1 million cases, 14% increase from the previous week), India (over 280 000 cases, 8% decrease), Italy (over 230 000 new cases, 3% decrease), Brazil (over 200 000 new cases, 17% increase) and France (over 170 000 new cases, 16% decrease).

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