21 May 2020 – South Africa’s 27 new deaths on Wednesday came from the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces, data released by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize shows.
The Western Cape had 23 deaths, while the remaining four came from the Eastern Cape.
In addition, almost eight out of every 10 new infections came from the Western Cape province, as it recorded 623 of the 803 new infections in the country.
On Wednesday, a day which marked Day 55 under South Africa’s lockdown, the total infections were at 18 003 and total deaths now sat at 339.
The Eastern Cape also continued to see the second most new cases, with 80.
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Mkhize also announced the death of a two-day old baby, the youngest victim from the country. The baby had been born premature and the mother had been infected, the minister stressed.
“Regrettably we report a further 27 Covid-19 related deaths- this brings the total national deaths to 339.
“Sadly we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to Covid-19 – this was a 2-day-old baby that was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth.
“The mother had tested positive for Covid-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 as well. 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,” he said.
Mkhize said they were also devastated by the death of a health care worker in the Western Cape.
“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. I want to send a special tribute to the health care workers who continue to serve with honour and compassion, despite the real risks they face in the frontline.
“My heart goes out to the family, colleagues and loved ones of this compatriot: we salute her for the contribution she has made to the fight against Covid-19. We wish to express our condolences to all the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who cared for the deceased,” he said.