Deaths rise to 24 and 2,003 coronavirus cases in South Africa

Deaths rise to 24 and 2,003 coronavirus cases in South Africa

South Africa has 2,003 confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize revealed.

This is an increase of 69 new cases from yesterday’s figure announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Six more people have died as a result of the virus, putting the total number of deaths at 24.

A total of 73,028 tests have now been conducted.

Gauteng still accounts for the highest number of cases with 801, followed by the Western Cape with 541, and KwaZulu-Natal with 412.

Mkhize said there have also been fruitful discussions with private hospitals to make beds available to members of the public without medical aid.

The majority of the infected who required hospitalisation have been admitted to private hospitals, he added.

Speaking at a press briefing in Pietermaritzburg, Mkhize also thanked churches for their assistance in fighting the spread of the virus by keeping their members at home during the Easter weekend.

Lockdown extended

Ramaphosa announced yesterday that the national lockdown will be extended by 14 days, and will now stay in effect until the end of April.

The president said there would be a big increase in testing for the virus over the next few weeks in order to identify and isolate the infected. Communities across the country will be screened, he stated.

He said this was necessary to contain the spread of the virus and avoid a massive loss of life in South Africa.

Confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa have followed an unexpected trend in recent days, however, with a sharp decline in new cases per day since the start of the lockdown.

This is unlike in countries such as the United States, Spain, and Italy, where there was a consistent increase in new cases until they reach a plateau.

Mkhize said the government had initially expected between 4,000 and 5,000 cases by around 2 April.

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