SA’s confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases surge to 85

The Department of Health confirmed 23 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa late on Tuesday night, bringing the total number of people with the contagious virus to 85.

This is a 37% increase on the last confirmed figure (62) of Covid-19 cases in the country, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night when he addressed the nation and declared “state of disaster” measures to try to curtail the spread of the virus locally.

Read: Covid-19: Averting a national disaster

In a statement released by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the department noted that 14 of the new confirmed cases were in Gauteng, five were in the Western Cape and four were in KwaZulu-Natal.

The latest announcement reveals that Gauteng – SA’s economic hub and most populous province – is becoming the epicentre of Covid-19 in the country. Yet again most of the new cases are related to people who have travelled overseas, largely to Europe and the US.

Covid-19, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation last week, has wreaked havoc on stock markets across the world as several nations, including China, Italy, Spain and France have instituted “lockdowns” on public life in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.