The cases of coronavirus in South Africa has risen to 554 and no reported deaths.

The are two people who are in ICU. This was announced by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize at a media briefing in Pretoria.

Mkhize says the country’s aim is to now flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three week national lockdown, starting at midnight on Thursday to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

There are over 370 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe, with over 16 000 deaths linked to the virus.

“I indicated that 554 new cases have been recorded overnight, as of 23:00 last (Monday) night. Most of our people are in a good condition, many of them are no longer symptomatic and some of them are still being looked after at home. We have a record of two patients who are in the ICU in private hospitals and then there are no deaths at this point. But at the rate at which these numbers are increasing, we expect that the numbers will still increase.”

Watch the full media briefing below:

Meanwhile, a South African, whose family has been infected with the coronavirus, has sent a stark warning to people to adhere to the regulations of the national lockdown, or face the possibility of the country descending into a health catastrophe.

Political Commentator, Melanie Verwoed, was speaking after Ramaphosa announced a three week national lockdown to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Verwoed – whose children have tested positive for COVID-19 – says it is crucial that South Africans take all measures to self-isolate.

“People can boost up with things like Vitamin C and other vitamins that their doctors can recommend. If this thing hits the poorer areas we are going to see an absolute catastrophe. And people don’t listen, a lot of people are trying to see if they can cheat government’s regulations. I don’t think government has a choice, we need to slow down this epidemic and flatten the curve and if we do in the next two to three weeks, with this lockdown, we can actually do this as South Africans. We know how to build together. If we do this we can actually build a future for this country again but if we don’t we’ll have scenes like we’ve seen in Italy and Iran and we will destroy this country.”

South Africa has become the latest country to implement a lockdown amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.