Health minister: Covid-19 cases in SA have increased to 202

20 March 2020 - 11:57 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The number of Covid-19 cases in SA has reached 202.
The number of Covid-19 cases in SA has reached 202.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in SA is now 202, with seven cases in the Free State, which recorded its first case a day ago.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Friday that Gauteng had 33 cases, the Western Cape 11 and KwaZulu-Natal seven.

The first five people who tested positive in the Free State had travelled from abroad and attended a religious gathering. They are in isolation in a local bed and breakfast.

On Thursday, the government said there were 150 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country. This did not include the new Free State cases, which were confirmed later in the day.

The South African government says it is revoking 8,000 visas issued to Chinese nationals as part of a travel ban aimed at countries with a high risk of coronavirus. This was being done as in line with efforts to reduce the risk of the virus coming in via high risk countries. Here's what we know so far about travel in and out of SA.

Mkhize told a #CoronaVirusUpdate news conference in the Free State that leaders in society must not fear the virus, but the country needs to be realistic about it.

He said scientists estimated that 60% of the population would be affected by the virus at some point, but not all at the same time.

This does not mean everyone will have serious illnesses.

"The virus is going to be with us for quite a while. It will be one of those viruses that our bodies will have to build new immunities to face," he said.

This is a developing story.