18,003 COVID-19 cases in South Africa

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that they have recorded a total of 18,003 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa.

This is an increase of 803 cases from the 17,200 cases reported on Tuesday 20 May.

Mkhize also said that 27 more COVID-19 deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus in South Africa to 339.

505,861 tests for COVID-19 had been conducted as of Wednesday 20 May.

This is an increase of 18,252 tests in the past 24 hours.

“Sadly, we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19 – this was a two-day-old baby that was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth,” Mkhize said.

“The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well.”

“It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity,” he said.

The total number of recoveries to date is 8,950.

Provincial breakdown

The Western Cape has recorded 210 deaths due to COVID-19, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 46 deaths and the Eastern Cape with 45.

The table below details 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 11,262 210
Gauteng 2,400 27
Eastern Cape 2,215 45
KwaZulu-Natal 1,650 46
Free State 180 6
Limpopo 93 3
Mpumalanga 93 0
North West 72 1
Northern Cape 38 1

Vandalism during lockdown

Vandals and criminals have been especially active during the lockdown, with 24 schools and 20 cellphone towers vandalised every day during the period.

Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that as many as 1,577 schools have been vandalized, burnt, and robbed countrywide over the lockdown period – with the majority of affected institutions in KwaZulu-Natal.

When examined over the 54 days of lockdown which had passed at the time Motshekga made her statement, this means that, on average, 24 South African schools are vandalized, burnt, or robbed on a daily basis.

Mobile network operators have also been forced to combat a continuous barrage of battery theft and vandalism on their cellphone towers.

Additionally, every day in South Africa, an average of 20 Vodacom cellphone towers are vandalized or broken into. This would be in addition to similar incidents suffered by other mobile operators.

Now read: South Africa’s lockdown – 24 schools and 20 cellphone towers vandalised every day

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18,003 COVID-19 cases in South Africa