South Africa’s coronavirus cases climb to 927

Friday, March 27th, 2020 19:52 |
staff member disinfects hands of a customer in a supermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 23, 2020.

South Africa's coronavirus cases have jumped to 927, an increase of 218 from the previous day, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday.

"As of today, the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa have risen by 218. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 927," the minister said in his latest update on the spread of the pandemic.

Thursday's number was the highest rise in a single day since the country reported its first confirmed case on March 5.

 Gauteng Province topped the list with 409 cases, to be followed by Western Cape (229 cases) and KwaZulu-Natal (134 cases). All other six provinces have also reported confirmed cases.

Also on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that the number of cases in the country "might rise much further than that."

Ramaphosa, in his capacity as AU Chair, also voiced concern about the rapidly rising number of cases on the African continent at an AU teleconference on Thursday.

 African leaders agree that they should heighten communication as no country can tackle this pandemic alone, according to Ramaphosa.

 They also agree to set up task forces for each region on the continent, said Ramaphosa.

 Ramaphosa convened the AU teleconference before taking part in the G20 tele-summit, scheduled for later Thursday, with the aim of championing a strong and well-organized collective global response to the pandemic.

So far South Africa has the largest number of coronavirus cases on the African continent. The country will go into a 21-day national lockdown on midnight Thursday.

 Under the lockdown, economic activities will grind to a near standstill, most shops will be closed except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.

Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant. (Xinhua)

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