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Mkhize Confirms 24 Covid-19 Deaths As Cases Breach 2,000

Zweli Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefing the media on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that 24 people have died of the coronavirus and that there were 2,003 confirmed cases.

He added that 73,028 people had been tested in South Africa and that there had been 410 recoveries.

Earlier on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that 20 people had died.

Speaking at a media briefing in Durban on Friday, Minister Mkhize gave a provincial breakdown of the deaths – KwaZulu-Natal had 12 deaths, the Western Cape had six deaths, while Gauteng and the Free State had three each.

The minister said that except for two cases, the deceased were aged 63 and upwards. He said that South Africa was also seeing people with co-existing diseases succumbing quicker to the virus.

Health Minister Mkhize added that with the lockdown, South Africa had stopped the importation of the virus, saying that “we have aborted the immediate peak and are no longer following the rest of the countries” with much higher infection and death rates.

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