The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa stood at 554 as of 11pm on Monday night, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.
This is an increase of 152 from the previous update on Sunday. Mkhize said he expects the numbers to increase, adding, “It will take us a couple of weeks before we see a turnaround.”
Gauteng has the highest numbers of confirmed cases at 302, followed by Western Cape (113), KwaZulu-Natal (80), Free State (18), North West (5), Mpumalanga (9), Limpopo (4), Northern Cape (2) and Eastern Cape (2).
5 positive cases have turned negative
Mkhize said there are now five confirmed cases of conversions, that is, people who tested positive and have now turned negative.
He added, “Most of our people are in a good condition, many of them are no longer symptomatic, and some of them are still being looked after at home.
“We have records of two patients who are in ICU in private hospitals and there is no death at this point.”
The Minister expressed concern about the Free State province in particular because of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Divine Restoration Ministries in Bloemfontein on 10-11 March.
Appeal to Prayer Breakfast attendees
Five people who attended it tested positive. All of them are tourists, with two coming from the United States, two from Israel and one from France.
He appealed to those who attended the Prayer Breakfast, estimated at around 200, to avail themselves for testing immediately.
Mkhize welcomed the nationwide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening. It will start from Thursday evening just after midnight until Thursday, 16 April at midnight.
“The lockdown helps us to reduce large numbers of people moving where the infection flow would be unmanageable,” he said.
Ramaphosa also announced other measures to help mitigate the social and economic impact of COVID-19, including the establishment of a Solidarity Fund.
Other measures include tax relief for affected individuals, R500 million allocation for SMMEs, R3 billion allocation for industrial funding, and wage support for qualifying businesses.