By Sarah Mazirwe – Kampala, Uganda, Friday, March 27, 2020.
South Africa has confirmed its first two COVID-19 fatalities, the Health Minister, Dr. Zwelini Mkhize announced, Friday, March 27, 2020.
Dr. Zwelini in a media statement said the fatalities occurred in Western Cape. The patients died in different hospitals, one in a public hospital and another in a private facility.
“This morning, we wake up South Africans with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” Dr. Zwelini announced.
In a statement, he said Covid-19 cases have increased and have tipped 1000 mark. Gauteng alone has registered 400 cases.
The fatalities come at the beginning of 21 days of national lockdown as announced the last night by the country’s president, Cyril Rwamaphosa.
The state media in the morning reported that police had arrested at least seven people in Johannesburg and Durban for defying presidential national lockdown guidelines.
Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula confirmed that public transport will only be available from 5 am to 8 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm local time. The trains and buses will not carry passengers.
By press time, South Africa had the highest number of covid_19 cases in Africa with low fatal rates as compared to other African countries. Egypt follows South Africa with 495 cases, registering 24 fatalities.