SOUTH AFRICA recorded its first death from coronavirus on Friday as its infection tally breached the 1,000 mark.
Three weeks ago, South Africa declared a three-week nationwide lockdown.
The news came as World Health Organisation director for Africa warned of a “dramatic evolution” of the disease, which has reportedly killed 94 out of nearly 3,500 infected people Africa.
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the patient who died in the Western Cape province was a woman aged 48, who was suffering from pulmonary embolism.
Mkhize had earlier reported two deaths, but late on Friday he revised the toll to one. The second patient had died on admission.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered South Africa’s 57 million people to stay at home for 21 days, joining countries across the globe in imposing strict measures to halt the spread of the disease.
Although Africa’s toll is far lower than in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, experts say the continent is especially vulnerable, given its poor sanitation, weak healthcare systems, overcrowding and conflicts.