SA sees highest one-day increase in virus cases

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South Africa has recorded 23 new cases of coronavirus in one day, the highest increase of any 24-hour period since the country confirmed its first case.

Of the new cases, four are children aged under five years.

South Africa now has 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 23 from yesterday’s announcement – Minister of Health, #ZweliMkhize #COVID19SouthAfrica #CoronaVirusUpdate

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize admitted there had been a “debate with clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists on when we, as government must release results to the public”.

Local media speculate that this debate was why the announcement wasn’t made until Tuesday evening.

In the same statement, Dr Mkhize also confirmed all 100 South Africans who were repatriated from Wuhan in China had been tested and declared virus-free.

The group will however remain in quarantine at a hotel in the Limpopo province.

South Africa confirmed its first case on 5 March, a man who arrived from Italy with his wife who tested positive as well on 8 March.

The country has been reporting additional cases since then, but the highest spike seen so far was reported on Tuesday night.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week declared a national disaster and announced a ban on travel from the countries worst hit by the virus.