Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have  gone up to 709 cases on Wednesday morning.

The cases have increased by 155 from yesterday’s 554.

This comes as the country prepares for national lockdown on Thursday midnight, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Monday night.

The President enforced a three week lockdown period with severe restrictions on travel and movements around the country.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health announced that there were two COVID-19 patients who are in ICU at private hospitals.

In the video below, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize gives an update on COVID-19

SA under national lockdown for 21 days

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a national lockdown for 21 days.

Addressing South Africans on government’s measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ramaphosa says the lockdown will start on midnight Thursday, 26 March till 16 April.

The President’s full speech is in the video below: 

North West Health Department tracing people suspected of COVID-19

The North West Health Department says it has already started tracing people who may have been in contact with the five patients who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The province’s COVID-19 cases stand at five. It recorded its first cases on Monday.

The infected people, whose ages range between 21 and 68, are currently stable and under self-quarantine.

One of them had visited some European countries.

Health MEC Madoda Sambatha addressed a media briefing in Mahikeng.

“All four cases were tested in private facilities. The fourth patient from Bloemhof is said to have attended a Bloemfontein church. Also, there’s a 21-year-old female she was in contact with visitors from European countries. North West has one extra, so we have five confirmed cases,” explains Sambatha.

Number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rises in Limpopo

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says the three people who tested positive for coronavirus, while in self-isolation on a farm in Lephalale, had returned from Europe.

Ramathuba says this has increased the number of provincial cases to four.

The province has not yet recorded a local transmission as all four cases have a travel history to Europe.

Ramathuba says the family of three is originally from the Western Cape.

She has urged individuals in provinces like Gauteng and the Western Cape to limit movements to other provinces.

In the video below, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize says number of infections expected to rise in SA