15 May 2020 – The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa has risen to 12 739, with 19 deaths reported over the past 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday (14 May 2020). This is an increase of 665 on Wednesday’s confirmed cases.
The latest fatalities bring the death toll from the coronavirus to 238, Mkhize said.
“A total of 16 666 tests have been conducted in the last 24 hours,” Mkhize said.
Across the country, 5 676 patients have recovered from the virus.
South Africa’s infections rates have been climbing steadily over the past three weeks as government ramps up efforts to screen and test as many people as possible, especially in densely populated areas.
On Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed in his address to the nation that the national lockdown, which is currently in its 49th day, has been instrumental in helping government buy time to put everything in place to cope with the inevitable spike in Covid-19 cases during the coming weeks.
“Without the lockdown the number of coronavirus infections would have soared uncontrollably, our health facilities would have been overwhelmed and many thousands more South Africans would have died,” Ramaphosa said.
He also announced that most of South Africa is expected to ease into level 3 lockdown by the end of May, which would see more industries open and provide a much-needed boost for the economy which has been severely impacted by the lockdown.