Health Media Release 16 December 2020

Media Statement
16 December 2020

Fellow South Africans, today we have breached the ten thousand mark for new cases. Our daily cases are growing exponentially. Our positivity rate is sitting at 21%.

This far exceeds the ideal positivity rate of 10%.

Today alone we’ve seen a significant increase in the daily numbers, with the Western Cape continuing to lead and now breaching the 3000 mark for the first time this week. 7 other provinces reported increases today whilst Eastern Cape reported a decrease in their new cases today.

The details are as follows:
Increase in WC (from 2 785 yesterday to 3 233 today)
Increase in KZN (from 1 152 yesterday to 2 743 today)
Increase in GP (from 1 278 yesterday to 1 795 today)
Increase in NW (from 152 yesterday to 182 today)
Increase in LP (from 59 yesterday to 154 today)
Increase in MP (from 67 yesterday to 146 today)
Increase in FS (from 67 yesterday to 88 today)
Increase in NC (from 36 yesterday to 56 today)
Decrease in EC (from 1 956 yesterday to 1 619 today)

We continue to assess the entire country and where we identify risks, we will engage and make a determination if further containment measures or restrictions are required.

We wish to commend all South Africans who heeded government’s call and complied with regulations by not going to the beaches. We know that although this has taken away time for enjoyment from our people, it will certainly contribute to curbing the spread of the virus. Our beaches are known for overcrowding during this time and people tend to be carefree. We urge people who will be going to the beach tomorrow and on days permitted, to ensure that it does not become a day of regret where peo 
ple get infected and lives are lost. We plead with you to be responsible and protect yourself. Keep a physical distance from others, wear your mask and wash or sanitise your hands.

We also note the various legal challenges that have been brought against government regarding the recent regulations. As Health, we stand by the recommendations made to the NCCC which are well substantiated by evidence. We have every intention to oppose these applications as the Department, and Government’s mandate to protect the lives and health of our people remains  paramount. We dare not neglect this responsibility by omitting to take the necessary actions to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed and collapsing, as we’ve seen in other countries.

Case Data
Today the cumulative number of cases stands at 883 687

Province Total cases for 16 December
Percentage total
Eastern Cape 153085 17,3
Free State 60001 6,8
Gauteng 249181 28,2
KwaZulu-Natal 146819 16,6
Limpopo 19561 2,2
Mpumalanga 32553 3,7
North West 36063 4,1
Northern Cape 23850 2,7
Western Cape 162574 18,4
Unknown 0 0,0
Total 883687 100,0


A cumulative total of 5 968 692 tests have been completed with 48 118 new tests conducted since the last report.

Regrettably, 166 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 89 , Free State 9, Gauteng 10, Kwa-Zulu Natal 25, Limpopo 2 and Western Cape 31.

This brings the total to 23 827 deaths.

We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased.

Our recoveries now stand at 774 585.