17,200 COVID-19 cases in South Africa

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now a total of 17,200 COVID-19 cases in South Africa.

This is an increase of 767 cases from the 16,433 cases reported on Monday.

26 more deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of fatalities attributed to the virus to 312.

Mkhize said 488,609 tests for COVID-19 had been conducted as of Tuesday 18 May. This is an increase of 13,538 tests over the past 24 hours.

He added a total of 7,960 recoveries have been seen in the country, an increase of 662 from the previous day.

Provincial breakdown

The Western Cape has recorded 187 deaths due to COVID-19, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 46 deaths and the Eastern Cape with 41.

The table below provides an overview of the total number of recorded COVID-19 cases per province, along with the number of deaths in each province attributed to COVID-19.

Province Case Numbers Deaths
Western Cape 10,639 187
Gauteng 2,361 27
Eastern Cape 2,135 41
KwaZulu-Natal 1,616 46
Free State 168 6
Limpopo 94 3
Mpumalanga 78 0
North West 72 1
Northern Cape 37 1

South Africa not ready to lift lockdown

Mkhize said South Africa does not yet meet criteria set out by the WHO as a guideline for determining a country’s readiness to lift restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19

According to the minister, the rate of new infections was still too high to justify a complete reversal of South Africa’s lockdown measures.

The government is expected to further ease restrictions in the coming weeks after it recently announced e-commerce retailers would be allowed to offer and deliver all items, with the exception of tobacco and alcohol products.

The Department of Basic Education has also announced schools are set to reopen for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners on 1 June 2020.

Now read: South Africa is entering the new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – What you should do

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17,200 COVID-19 cases in South Africa