This article has been amended to reflect Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize’s amendment.
South Africa has recorded its first death as a result of the coronavirus.
On Friday morning, as the country awoke to the first day of a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the disease, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that two women, aged 28 and 48, had died in the Western Cape.
It has since emerged that the 28-year-old tested negative for the disease and Mkhize has amended his earlier statement.
The number of confirmed cases as of Friday, was 1 107.
“We will give more details later on when we announce the latest confirmed Covid-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number,” Mkhize said in a statement from the department of health.
In a statement, Premier Alan Winde said: “The 48-year-old woman’s condition worsened while in ICU, and she passed away this morning. The 28-year-old was admitted to hospital yesterday and received emergency healthcare. She also passed away this morning. The clinical picture is consistent with Covid-19, but we are awaiting the test results to confirm this.”
He reiterated the call for South Africans to stay at home during the national lockdown. “We mourn this loss as a province and as a country. Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the deceased.”
Winde added that: “As we all strive to stop its spread, by each making the decision to stay at home until it becomes absolutely necessary to pop out for absolute essentials … We are staying home for ourselves, our family and friends, our grandmas and grandpas, for the healthcare workers who are facing this virus head-on and need our help to flatten the curve, and for our fellow men and women across South Africa.”