South Africa records 1st neonatal Covid-19-related death

The infant was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilator support.

South Africa has recorded its first neonatal mortality related to Covid-19, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed this evening. The two-day-old baby was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilator support immediately after birth. The mother had tested positive for the virus. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity, the minister said.

“We extend a special word of comfort to the mother, and salute the neonatologists, nurses and all allied and technical personnel who had the difficult task of caring for the neonate to the end.”

Mkhize noted that a health care worker in the Western Cape also died due to Covid-19.

The country has up to date registered 18 003 positive cases of Covid-19, with 8 950 recoveries.

“When Covid-19 claims the lives of the very people who are the bedrock of the national response, we feel the loss in so many ways. 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,” the minister said.

The country’s Covid-19 cases increased by 803 to 18 003 on Wednesday.

To date, the country has seen 8 950 recoveries with a total of 505 861 tests having been conducted, with 18 252 in the last 24 hours.

The Western Cape has the highest number of cases at 11 262, while Gauteng accounts for 2 400.

The total number of deaths recorded now stand at 339.

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