Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that two COVID-19 patients have died in South Africa.

The fatalities occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public health facility.

The country has over 1 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with Gauteng recording over 400.

In a statement Mkhize says, “This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19.”

“We will give more details later on, when we announce the  latest confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1 000 mark,” he adds.

Below is the timeline of South Africa’s COVID-19 cases:

16 suspected coronavirus cases among prison officials

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says there have been 16 suspected coronavirus cases among officials at correctional centres across the country.

Lamola says 11 of the officials have tested negative for the virus and results for the remaining five are pending.

He says, “There has been processes of sanitisation, deep cleaning some of the correctional centres which are still continuing as we speak since the period of the lockdown. There has been suspected cases from our officials about 16 officials. 11 of them have been cleared to processes of testing, we are still awaiting results for the 5 officials.”

In the video below, Ronald Lamola speaks about security measures for COVID-19 :

Home Affairs to open during lockdown

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says Home Affairs will only provide essential services such as issuing death certificates and temporary identity documents.

Motsoaledi says there will be no issuing of other documents including new marriage certificates, new births certificates, and passports.

He has also announced that people who have circulated false news about the pandemic will be charged.

Motsoaledi says, “I want to state here that this fake news  and it tends to be more dangerous sometimes as much as the virus itself because it worries people. Because of this and because we are on possession of the original source of the pictures, I’ve instructed my officials to go and lay a charge with the police. This is the first test case of whether fake news can be charged or not. We are going to charge these ones and we have identified at least three of them.”

In the video below, Aaron Motsoaledi speaks about his department’s measures for COVID-19:

INFOGRAPHIC: Isolation vs Quarantine:

Isolation vs Quarantine by SABC Digital News