1,353 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa – as deaths climb to 5

 ·31 Mar 2020

Update: A previous version of this article stated there were 4 deaths, after Minister Mkhize corrected himself during the press briefing. Subsequent data published by the NICD shows there are 5 deaths.

Minister of Health has announced that there are now 1,353 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa, as of 31 March 2020 – on day five of the nationwide lockdown.

This follows president Cyril Ramaphosa announcing 1,326 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa on 30 March  – meaning 27 new cases over the past 24 hours.

Mkhize said that the total number of tests in the country now stand at 39,500 with a number of patients tested a number of times. Five people have died, he said.

“The rate of increase in the numbers is not as much as anticipated. Our modelling already shows that we are falling behind the number we thought we would reach,” he said.

“The figures we thought we would reach by the end of April was between 4,000 – 5,000,  but I don’t think we will get there.”

Mkhize attributed this to the shutting down of the country’s borders as well as other interventions introduced by the government. He added that the country would ramp up testing in the coming days and would begin using more sophisticated tracing methods.

Addressing the nation on Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the number of infected people continues to grow. The president implored South Africans to stay at home for the next 17 days.

“Leave your home only if you need to get food, or essential provisions. If you do have to go out, make sure you do everything you can not to get infected, or to infect someone else.”

A provincial breakdown of the confirmed cases is as follows:

  • Gauteng – 633
  • Western Cape – 325
  • KwaZulu-Natal – 179
  • Free State – 74
  • Limpopo – 14
  • Mpumalanga – 12
  • Eastern Cape – 12
  • North West – 8
  • Northern Cape – 6

Globally, there have been over 800,000 reported cases of infection, with 38,749 deaths. While over 172,319 people have recovered from the virus, the majority of cases (589,993) remain active, where 30,289 people remain in serious or critical condition.


Over 1,000 South Africans are stranded in various countries around the world, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.

“The most recent data that we have suggests that we may have 1,471 South Africans stranded across the world. Of this number, 723 are students, 204 people who are workers, 224 tourists, 320 who haven’t disclosed.

“I cannot say that these numbers are 100% accurate as it is based on people who have approached us for assistance through our missions and consular services,” said the minister.

The minister made these remarks at a briefing held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in Pretoria.

Read: New study shows how the coronavirus impacts people in different age groups

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