Two-day-old dies of COVID-19, as cases rise to 18 003

Thursday, May 21, 2020

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases increase, South Africa has recorded its first death of an infant due to Coronavirus.

According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, a two-day-old was born prematurely and had lung difficulties that required ventilation support immediately.

“The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well,” Mkhize explained.

“It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity. We extend a special word of comfort to the mother of this child and salute the neonatologists, nurses and all allied and technical personnel who had the difficult task of caring for the neonate to the end.”

The baby is among the 27 who succumbed to the COVID-19 related illnesses, which brings the total national deaths to 339 as of Wednesday.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country is 18 003, an increase of 803 in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a healthcare worker in the Western Cape also lost their life.

“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.”

Mkhize has saluted health professionals who continue to serve with honour and compassion despite the risk they face in the frontline.

The total number of recoveries to date is 8 950, while 505 861 tests have been conducted with 18 252 done in the last 24-hour cycle.

During a public presentation to senior editors and journalists on Tuesday, Mkhize said without natural immunity or a vaccine, everyone is at risk of the Coronavirus infection.

“One in five sick patients may need hospital care,” he told journalists.

He also said flattening the curve is an ongoing process of reducing Coronavirus spread over an extended period.

“The reason for flattening the curve is to reduce the rate of new infections so that the peak is lowered to a level where hospitals can cope with COVID-19 cases.” – SAnews.gov.za

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