COVID-19 has claimed the first two lives in South Africa, just hours into the 21-day national lockdown meant to try and reduce the spread of the disease caused by coronavirus. They were aged 28 and 48.
Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, confirmed the deaths in a brief media statement on Friday morning.
“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," he said.
In the same statement, Mkhize also confirmed that positive COVID-19 cases have increased from 927 on Thursday "and have tipped the 1000 mark.”
He promised to share the exact number and details of the rise in COVID-19 cases later today.