554 confirmed coronavirus cases in SA

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the country now has 554 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus. 

Mkhize said health officials were working around the clock to track cases of the virus and trace contacts. 

He was briefing the media on Tuesday, following President Cyril Ramaphosa's declaration that the country would go into a national lockdown on Thursday night to help curb the spread of the fatal virus. 

Mkhize said the government was trying to flatten the curve of infections and that following the lockdown it would take time, maybe weeks to track whether the measures implemented by the government were working. 

Most of the confirmed cases originate in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Mkhize also highlighted confirmed cases in the Free State. In this case, Mkhize said five individuals who travelled from other countries have tested positive for the virus. The individuals have been isolated and one is in hospital. They were in the province to attend a convention at the Divine Restoration Church Ministries in Bloemfontein which was attended by 300 people. 

Mkhize said a tracer team was working tracing the people who attended that church service which took place at the beginning of March. He has appealed to people  who attended this church service to come forward to be tested.

Mkhize said in total so far there have been 12815 tests conducted and more than 10 000 were tested in the private sector and 2000 by public laboratories. 


* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999

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