Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has announced there are 1,505 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in South Africa.
This is up by 43 from yesterday’s number of total cases, which stood at 1,462.
Mkhize also announced that two more South Africans have died from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths from COVID-19 to nine.
The two latest deaths are an 80-year-old male and an 81-year-old female – neither of whom had a history of travel during the pandemic period.
New cases in South Africa
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in South Africa is currently trending below estimates recently laid out by the Department of Health.
Mkhize told journalists on Tuesday the government had expected the total number of confirmed cases to have reached between 4,000 and 5,000 by 2 April.
Data from other countries shows the number of coronavirus infections is likely to increase suddenly and exponentially – making this prediction understandable.
Flattening the exponential curve of infection has required drastic intervention by governments, such as imposing strict physical distancing rules, intense contact tracing, or placing their countries under lockdown.
Mkhize said that while today’s daily increase in the number of new cases has decreased compared to yesterday, he believes the numbers will change drastically once the government rolls out testing to rural areas.
He also said that South Africa needs a lot more data before the country can make definitive decisions on the length of the lockdown period.