Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has announced that two South Africans have died after being infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” Mkhize said in a statement.
“These two deaths occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public hospital.”
Mkhize added that the number of cases in South Africa has now increased to over 1,000.
“We will give more details later on when we announce the COVID-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1,000 mark,” he said.
The latest official number of coronavirus cases announced by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) stood at 927 as of Thursday 26 March.
Gauteng had the highest number of cases, closely followed by the Western Cape and then KwaZulu-Natal.
As of the last official update, 20,471 tests had been conducted in South Africa.
South Africa’s 21-day lockdown is now in effect, with only essential services allowed to continue functioning as normal.
Several citizens have already been arrested for breaching the restrictions of the lockdown on the morning of Friday 27 March 2020.
Regulations related to the lockdown prohibit the sale of alcohol and gatherings of any kind during the period.
People are also not allowed to go jogging, walk their dog in public, or move between districts or provinces.
There are also restrictions on visiting cinemas, bars and shebeens, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, lodges, and beaches – many of which are closed for the lockdown.
Police Minister Bheki Cele warned that those who break the rules will be arrested and face a fine or even jail time.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 27, 2020