President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced there are now 1,326 confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in South Africa.
Ramaphosa said there have been three deaths in the country as a result of the virus.
The president made the statement as part of an address to the nation on Monday evening.
He thanked South Africans for staying at home and obeying the rules of the 21-day lockdown, and added that these actions will help stop the spread of the virus.
Confirmed cases rise
The president’s announcement comes after Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize announced on 29 March that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa had risen to 1,280.
Additionally, Mkhize said the second death documented as a result of the virus was that of a 74-year-old man who had been in ICU in a private hospital in Ladysmith. He had travelled to the Kruger National Park with his family and returned with flu-like symptoms.
“It has been reported to us that the deceased patient had an underlying skin cancer condition (melanoma), which had already complicated,” said Mkhize.
“The deceased’s family, 14 health workers, including 3 specialist doctors who were in contact with him, are now in quarantine and being monitored.”
Do not wear a mask and gloves
The Western Cape Health Department has warned South Africans against wearing gloves and masks during the 21-day lockdown, stating these items can actually help to spread the coronavirus.
“Many people feel that they can protect themselves against COVID-19 by wearing personal protection equipment such as gloves and masks as a precaution,” the department said.
“If you are not ill and not in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, you do not need to wear a mask or gloves.”
“Scientific evidence proves that by wearing a mask, if it is not needed, you may put yourself at higher risk because you fiddle with the mask and then transfer germs from your hands to your face.”