S.Africa COVID-19 cases exceed 1,000, first two dead reported

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Cases of coronavirus in South Africa passed 1,000 on Friday, the health ministry said, while also reporting its first two deaths on the first day of a three-week, nationwide lockdown.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, which saw Africa’s most industrialised economy largely shudder to a halt overnight, earlier this week.

“This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” the health ministry said in a statement, adding cases had risen to more than 1,000, from 927 on Thursday.

Both deaths had occurred in the southernmost province of Western Cape, with one in a public hospital and the other in a private hospital, the statement read.

The 21-day lockdown came into force at midnight on Thursday, and largely confines people to their homes aside from specific purposes like buying food or for health emergencies.

However, local media on Friday morning showed pictures of bustling streets and long queues outside supermarkets in poor townships – where cramped, squalid conditions make social distancing near impossible, and mean the virus could spread quickly among people reliant on an ailing public health system.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Tim Cocks)

This article was first published on Reuters Africa https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN21E0YX-OZATP and is republished with its permission.

For more coverage on COVID-19 visit: https://www.cnbcafrica.com/covid-19/

Partner Content

Disruptive digital solutions is rewiring the DNA of Banking

By Kennedy Mubita, Africa Head, SC Ventures. Imagine a bank whose customers can tap on a wearable device to...

The future of banking; digitization and collaboration as growth accelerants

By Kariuki Ngari, CEO & Managing Director, Standard Chartered, Kenya & East Africa COVID-19 has upended the social and...

Star Quality Speaker Line-Up at Africa Tech Festival 2020

Acknowledged as the world’s largest Africa-focused digital infrastructure and emerging tech event, the Africa Tech Festival has always attracted a stellar line-up of critical thinkers, analysts, futurists, keynote and inspirational speakers. 2020 will more than deliver on that reputation, with a stimulating array of visionary industry presenters, raconteurs and even some sporting greats.

Newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox