As of Wednesday (May 20), the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 18 003. A record 803 new cases were confirmed by the Health Department in a statement.

The total number of recoveries to date is 8950.

First neonatal Covid-19 related death

“Regrettably we report a further 27 COVID-19 related deaths- this brings the total national deaths to 339,” said Health Minister Dr Mkhize.

Sadly, South Africa has recorded the first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19.

According to Dr Mkhize, the case was of 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.

“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,” said Mkhize.

Another death of a healthcare worker

The minister says he feels devastated to have another death of a healthcare worker in the Western Cape.

“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,” said Dr Mkhize.

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