South Africa: first 2 coronavirus deaths, cases top 1,000

News World

A South African uniformed Metro policeman (L) and a plainclothes one (R) try to enforce distancing outside a supermarket in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, on March 27, 2020 where several dozens of customers are queuing for food without respecting the minimum safety distance. – South Africa came under a nationwide lockdown on March 27, 2020, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the continent. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)

“This morning we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

He said the two people died in the Western Cape province, as the country went under a nationwide 21-day lockdown that took effect at midnight.

The minister promised to release more details later “when we announce the latest confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1,000 mark”.

On Friday, the country reported 927 confirmed cases, a more than 30 percent jump from the previous day.

In a bid to halt the spread, some 57 million people have been ordered to stay at home during the three-week total lockdown.

But many people defied the order — going about business as usual while some lined up outside food stores or queuing up for transport at bus terminals on Friday morning.

The Guardian

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