By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg reported 13,172 new COVID-19 cases today making South Africa the country with the sixth most cases globally with 324,221.

To date, more than 2.3 million tests have been performed.

Since the start of the outbreak in March, at least 4,669 people have died from COVID-19.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said recently–While the surge in infections has been expected, the force and the speed with which it has progressed has, quite understandably, caused great concern.

The surge of infections that our experts and scientists predicted over 3 months ago has now arrived. It started in the Western Cape and is now underway in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

We are in the midst of a deadly pandemic and we must act accordingly, in line with the prevention measures we continue to communicate.

We are all required to be responsible, careful and compassionate.

Through our own actions – as individuals, as families, as communities – we can and we must change the course of this pandemic in our country.

We are by now all familiar with what we need to do to protect ourselves and others from infection.

We need to wear a cloth mask that covers our nose and mouth whenever we leave home.

We must continue to regularly wash our hands with soap and water or sanitizer.

We must continue to clean and sanitize all surfaces in all public spaces.

Most importantly, we must keep a safe distance – of at least 2 metres – from other people.

There is now emerging evidence that the virus may also be carried in tiny particles in the air in places that are crowded, closed or have poor air circulation.

For this reason we must immediately improve the indoor environment of public places where the risk of infection is greatest.

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We must increase natural ventilation, avoid the recirculation of air and minimise the number of people sharing the same space.

We must do this in all heath care facilities, nursing homes, shops, offices, workplaces, schools, restaurants and public transport.

We have the power within ourselves, working with each other, to limit the damage that this virus does to our people, our society and our economy.

As we confront the rapid rise in infections, as we ready ourselves for the difficult days, weeks and months that lie ahead, we need to remind ourselves of the absolute necessity of the measures we have taken.