South African health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File photo: Jairus Mmutle/Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
South African health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File photo: Jairus Mmutle/Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

South Africa now has 1170 coronavirus infections

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 27, 2020

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Cape Town - South Africa now has 1170 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu confirmed on Friday. 

He was speaking on behalf of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who was not present at the press conference due to other engagements. 

"While there has been two deaths what has now been confirmed by the authorities, one death is confirmed, the other death is suspected," said Mthembu on behalf of Mkhize.

Earlier Western Cape Premier Alan Winde confirmed that the two people who died from Covid-19 related illnesses were a 28-year-old and a 48-year-old woman. 

"The 48-year-old woman's condition worsened while in ICU and she passed away this morning. The 28-year-old was admitted to hospital yesterday and received emergency healthcare. She also passed away this morning. The clinical picture is consistent with Covid-19, but we are awaiting the results of the test to confirm this," he said to eNCA on Friday morning. 

These two deaths took place as the country has been placed on a national lockdown with South Africans expected to stay at home. Only essential businesses remain open. 

On Thursday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed SANDF members to assist SAPS officials in enforcing the lockdown regulations. 

Ramaphosa said the SANDF should ensure that once the 21 days were over, South Africa will be able to bounce back. He said this was a mercy and life-giving mission.

"You are the restorers of life to our people. Make sure that after 21 days, this state will be able to bounce back. Where our people can be active once again. This is a life restoration and mercy mission. A life-giving mission. Go out and save the lives of South Africans. I order you to go out and execute this mission with great success," he said. 

On Thursday, South Africa had 927 confirmed cases of the virus. This means more than 243 new cases have been registered on Friday

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