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Worldwide shortage of Covid-19 test kits creating backlog - Mkhize

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Worldwide shortage of Covid-19 test kits creating backlog - Mkhize

Photo by Bloomberg

27th May 2020

By: News24Wire


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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize expressed his concern about the global shortage of test kits for Covid-19 as he announced the country's latest coronavirus figures. 

On Tuesday, 43 more deaths were recorded, taking SA's Covid-19 death toll to 524.

A total of 649 new infections have been confirmed, which took the number of positive cases to 24 264.


The total number of recoveries stood at 12 741.

In the previous 24 hours, 9 214 tests were conducted for the dreaded virus. The previous day there were about 12 900 tests.


Mkhize, briefing the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday, explained the drop in tests was due to the worldwide shortage of test kits.

A backlog could mean doctors will have to make clinical diagnoses.


He said the backlog was not due to a lack of capacity, but a shortage of test kits.

Western Cape MPL and chairperson of the provincial legislature's ad hoc committee on Covid-19 Mireille Wenger said the backlog in the province was 18 000.

"If we can't measure, we can't manage," she added.

By Tuesday, 605 991 tests were conducted.

Mkhize said the high number of infections in the Western Cape - the province with the highest number of infections – could not be ascribed to a higher rate of testing and those that hold that opinion were ill-informed.

He added the past two weeks saw 45% of the total positive tests. This past week saw 25%, with the Western Cape leading the way, followed by Gauteng.

Mkhize expressed his concern about the level of hospitalisation in the Western Cape, which dwarfs the figures in the rest of the country.


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