New variant covid-19 rages in South Africa with 10, 939 more cases, 254 new deaths
London, Dec. 20, 2020 (AltAfrica)-New variant covid-19 is rapidly spreading in South Africa as the country recorded 10 939 new Covid-19 cases and another 254 deaths on Saturday , according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Research Innovation Platform, Professor Tulio De Oliviera, confirmed that a new variant of the coronavirus has been identified in South Africa and it is spreading rapidly.
Prof De Oliviera says the new lineage of the coronavirus is dominating new infections in South Africa.
The new figure takes the cumulative number of cases now stands at 912 477 and the death toll at 24 539, the health department confirmed on Saturday.
There are currently 100 156 active coronavirus cases across the country, with the bulk of these coming from the Western Cape (32 889 cases), KwaZulu-Natal (27 431 cases) and the Eastern Cape (15 283 cases).
Gauteng has 14 386 active cases.
A total of 6 100 373 tests have been completed with 48 387 new tests conducted since the last report, the department said.
Deaths and recoveries
Of the 254 deaths reported on Saturday, 85 were from the Eastern Cape, 74 from the Western Cape, 61 from KwaZulu-Natal, 18 from Gauteng, 12 from the Free State and 4 from Limpopo.
The total number of recoveries currently stands at 787 782.
DA to face off with Cogta minister over new restrictions
Meanwhile, the DA has taken issue with Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for moving forward the closing time for restaurants and bars in the amended Covid-19 regulations.ADVERTISING
On Saturday, DA MP Dean Mcpherson accused Dlamini Zuma of overruling President Cyril Ramaphosa in the latest amended regulations published on Thursday.
“This time, Dlamini Zuma has unilaterally decided to change the closing time for restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, theatres and museums from 10pm to 9pm,” Mcpherson said.
On Monday, Ramaphosa said in his address to the nation the hours of the curfew would be longer, starting at 11pm and ending at 4am.
Ramaphosa said the curfew was meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night, while enabling restaurants, bars and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income.
Mcpherson said he has written to Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa requesting an urgent answer as to why the closing time has been altered in the cavalier manner.
“Establishments like restaurants need every hour they possibly can get to make up for the hard and brutal lockdown that they have been subjected to this year,” Mcpherson said.
The DA is taking the government to court, challenging the decision to close the beaches in the Garden Route district for the entirety of the festive season.