The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa has now reached 1,353, with five deaths and 31 recovered.
This is according to figures provided by the country’s Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize at a press conference on Tuesday.
So far the government has tested over 39,000 people and has indicated that it is moving to a mass testing strategy.
South Africa accounts for the overwhelming majority of cases in the Southern Africa region with 1,353 of 1,436 confirmed cases.
While the Minister stated that most patients are stable, the fatalities include two individuals from KwaZulu-Natal, one a 46-year old woman with underlying chronic asthma and hypertension and a 74-year old male pensioner from Ladysmith, a 79-year old man from Gauteng, a 48-year old woman from Western Cape and an 85-year old male pension in Free State.
The country has been in a nationwide lockdown since Thursday last week which is expected to last for 21 days. During this time all South Africans have been instructed to stay at home, unless seeking medical care, buying food or collecting a social grant. All shops and businesses are closed, except from pharmacies, laboratories, banks, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare providers.
Meanwhile, Botswana on Tuesday confirmed its first death from the new coronavirus. A 79-year-old person, who came to the country from South Africa on March 15, died due to the virus, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane said in a statement. He also said the deceased had suffered from other diseases.
According to the African Union’s Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre (RCC) the confirmed numbers for the virus in the Southern African region as of April 1 are as follows:
(Cases, Deaths, Recoveries)
South Africa (1,353, 5, 31)
Total ( 1,436, 9, 32)