South Africans are waking on the first day of lockdown to bad news, as the Minister of Health Dr Zwelini Mkhize has announced the first coronavirus-related deaths.

Two deaths have been recorded as of March 27, both logged in the Western Cape. One patient passed away at a private hospital while another was at a public hospital.

Mkhize said that more details on the first fatal cases would be announced at a later stage, and also stated that South Africa’s overall cases of COVID-19 have already surpassed the 1 000 positive cases mark.

“We will give more details later on, when we announce the latest confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1000 mark,” said Dr Mkhize.

Premier Alan Winde confirmed the deaths this morning, expressing his sadness over the news.

“Today, we woke up to the sad news that we, too, have seen our first casualties. A 28 year-old woman and 48 year-old woman both passed away this morning.
The 48 year-old woman’s condition worsened while in ICU, and she passed away this morning. The 28 year-old was admitted to hospital yesterday and received emergency healthcare. She also passed away this morning. The clinical picture is consistent with COVID-19 but we are awaiting the test results to confirm this,” said Winde in a statement.

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