South Africa has recorded its first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19 as cases increased to 18 003. In a statement, the Department of Health announced 27 more deaths, bringing the total national deaths to 339. Among those who died are a two-day-old baby and a healthcare worker.

“Sadly, we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19. This was a 2-day-old baby that was born prematurely and therefore, had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth.

“The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity,” the statement explained.

The department has sent its condolences to the mother and those that cared for the baby.

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Coronavirus in the Western Cape

The ministry has expressed devastation over losing the healthcare worker in the Western Cape.

“When COVID-19 claims the lives of the very people who are the bedrock of the national response, we feel the loss in so many ways. I want to send a special tribute to the healthcare workers who continue to serve with honour
and compassion, despite the real risks they face in the frontline. My heart goes out to the family, colleagues and loved ones of this compatriot: we salute her for the contribution she has made to the fight against COVID-19.”

The Western Cape accounts for 62.2% of the total number of cases in South Africa. Currently, the province has 11 262 cases.

So far, more than 500 000 tests have been conducted in the country and the total number of recoveries to date is 8 950.