The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has surged to 402, as noted by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday morning.
The confirmation, which shows an increase of 128 cases in less than 24 hours, is the single greatest spike since the deadly coronavirus was first reported in South Africa on 5 March.
Coronavirus cases in South Africa, Monday 23 March 2020
The announcement also precedes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation, which was at first scheduled to take place on Sunday night but will now take place on Monday evening.
COVID-19 in SA by province
Western Cape: 100
Free State: 13
North West: 4
Eastern Cape: 2
Northern Cape: 2
Unknown: 1Further details and explanations
In his midday report, the health minister added that information on testing and the spread of COVID-19 will be detailed as part of President Ramaphosa’s national address on Monday evening. Mkhize noted that tracer teams, tasked with tracking points of contact to minimise the virus’ spread, were working furiously across the country.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has been urged to work closely with local and provincial government structures as a matter of urgency in curtailing the coronavirus’ highly infectious nature.
While South Africans await the president’s address, which is likely to signal stringent control measures akin to a national lockdown, citizens have been urged to remain calm, practice good hygiene and maintain social distancing directives.
This is a developing story – more updates to follow