20 May 2020 – South Africa now has over 17 000 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus and 26 more deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday night (18 May 2020). 

There has also been an increase of recoveries, which now stand at 7 960.

“Sadly, Northern Cape has reported its first death,” he said.

Mkhize said there were 767 new infections, taking the total cases to 17 200, while there were also 26 more deaths, taking the death toll to 312. 

The country is currently in Day 55 of its national lockdown which was instituted to curb the spread of the virus. 

Last Friday, South Africa eased into level 4 of the national lockdown and allowed just over one million workers to return to work, after instituting the strict level 5 lockdown for 35 days. 

In easing into level 4 of the lockdown, the wearing of cloth masks became compulsory for all who were in public. Shops are refusing to serve those who do not cover their faces. 

Mkhize said 488 609 people had now been tested for the virus, with the 13 538 tests conducted over the last 24 hours. 

Meanwhile, Minister for Basic Education Angie Motshekga earlier announced that the 2020 school year is set to resume on June 1. She said the resumption of the school year will be done in a phased approach, however pupils in Grades 7 and 12 are expected to return to school on June 1.

(Source: News24)