COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa

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COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa
Map with number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per province.
Map with number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths per province.
DiseaseCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Virus strainSevere acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2
LocationSouth Africa
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
30°35′14″N 114°17′17″E / 30.58722°N 114.28806°E / 30.58722; 114.28806
Index caseHilton, KwaZulu-Natal
Arrival date1 March 2020
(3 years and 9 months ago)
Confirmed cases734175 (as of 6 November 2020)[1]
Recovered675593 (as of 6 November 2020)[1]
19749 (as of 6 November 2020)[1]
Government website

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed by Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize to have spread to South Africa on 5 March 2020. The first known case was a South African returning from Italy.

Response[change | change source]

Mother and baby wearing protective masks in a supermarket (March 2021).

On 15 March, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, declared a national state of disaster,[2] and announced measures like travel restrictions and the closure of schools from 18 March.

On 17 March, Ramaphosa formed the National Command Council on COVID-19,[3] "to lead the nation's plan to contain the spread and mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus".[3][4]

The parliament of South Africa suspended all activities on 18 March.[5] Both the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance postponed their respective elective congresses.[6]

On 23 March, a national lockdown was announced, starting on 26 March 2020.[7] On 9 April, Ramaphosa announced that it would be extended until the end of April.[8]

On 21 April, a 500 billion rand stimulus was announced in response to the pandemic.[9]

On 23 April, Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown restrictions would slowly be phased out.[10] Level 4 started on 1 May. On 1 June, the country entered level 3.[11]

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, extended the state of disaster on 3 June. It ended on 4 July.[12]

Testing[change | change source]

A COVID-19 testing tent at the Paarl Provincial Hospital

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) started testing people in South Africa for SARS-CoV-2 on 28 January 2020.[13]

By the middle of March, state hospitals were offering free COVID-19 testing.[14]

On 11 June, the Health Department said that over 1 million tests had been completed.[15]

Numbers[change | change source]

As of 27 April 2020, the median age of people with laboratory-confirmed cases was 38 years, and as of 2 May 2020 the median age of patients who died was 64.

As of 12 July 2020, there were 276242 confirmed cases and 4079 confirmed deaths, as well as 134874 recoveries.[16]

As of 6 November 2020, there were 734175 confirmed cases and 19749 confirmed deaths, as well as 675593 recoveries.[17]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "South Africa". Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  2. "Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 | South African Government". Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with political parties to combat Coronavirus COVID-19, 18 Mar". South African Government. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  4. "South Africa to begin easing of lockdown". Adelaide Now. 2020-04-24. Retrieved 2020-05-01.[permanent dead link]
  5. Ndenze, Babalo (18 March 2020). "COVID-19: Parliament closes until further notice". EWN. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  6. Mavuso, Sihle (16 March 2020). "ANC, DA postpone conferences amid coronavirus fears". IOL. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  7. "Ramaphosa announces 21 day coronavirus lockdown for South Africa". 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  8. "South African lockdown extended – 2 more weeks". 9 April 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  9. "Ramaphosa announces South Africa's biggest spending plan ever to fight coronavirus". Fin24. 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  10. "Statement by president Cyril Ramaphosa on South Africa's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Union buildings, Tshwane". 23 April 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  11. "President Cyril Ramaphosa: Developments in South Africa's risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  12. Merten, Marianne (4 June 2020). "Cabinet extends State of Disaster – and appeals judgment against Covid-19 lockdown rules". The Daily Maverick. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  13. "COVID-19 update". NICD. 2020-02-07. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  14. Ferial Haffajee; Maverick Citizen; Maverick Insider Team (2020-03-19). "Coronavirus Explainer: Maverick Insider Covid-19 Questions, Answered". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  15. "COVID-19: Over 1 million tests conducted in SA". eNCA. Johannesburg. 31 May 2020. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  16. "Update on Covid-19 (12th July 2020)". 12 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  17. "Update on Covid-19 (6th November 2020)". 6 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.