SA records first deaths as a result of Covid-19

27 March 2020 - 09:03 By Naledi Shange
South Africa recorded two fatalities of the coronavirus on Friday.
South Africa recorded two fatalities of the coronavirus on Friday.
Image: STR/AFP

South Africa has recorded its first fatalities due to the coronavirus, the health ministry announced on Friday.

In a short statement nine hours into the official 21-day lockdown, health minister Zweli Mkhize said two people had died as a result of Covid-19.

“This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from Covid-19.

“These two deaths occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public hospital,” Mkhize said in a statement.

“We will give more details later on,” he said.

The health ministry also announced that by Friday morning, the number of positive coronavirus infections around the country had surpassed 1,000. 

Later on Friday evening, the department of health clarified that only one person has died from Covid-19 in SA.

Earlier, the department said that two people had died: a 48-year-old woman and a 28-year-old woman.

However, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize admitted that this was wrong, and sought to clarify the information that was initially provided.

He said that the 48-year-old woman had tested positive for Covid-19, but the 28-year-old was a “suspected case based on her clinical presentation”.