Coronavirus: Confirmed cases jump to 24, more expected says minister

Coronavirus: Confirmed cases jump to 24, more expected says minister

- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed eight new cases of the coronavirus

- The minister revealed that the number could be higher, with test results pending

- This brings the number of cases in South Africa up to 24

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Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced eight more positive cases of the coronavirus.

Addressing the media on the latest developments in the outbreak, Mkhize revealed that:

"Yesterday we announced 16 cases, and today we're announcing eight. That makes it 24. With the additional cases which are positive, we will not release the numbers yet until they are verified."

The politician confirmed that all the new infections were from people who had recently been overseas.

Mkhize had been speaking outside of the Limpopo quarantine facility where he had undergone a site inspection, TimesLIVE reports.

This is in preparation for the 120 South African citizens who will be returning from Wuhan, China where the outbreak had first taken hold.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Maimane asks Ramaphosa not to take a Mabena approach

The plan to house the repatriated citizens in Polokwane has been met with fierce resistance, with numerous people calling for the government to reconsider.

With the arrival of police forces on Thursday and the minister and his team on Friday, this seems unlikely to sway the decision. reported that calls were intensifying for President Cyril Ramaphosa to implement travel restrictions amid a global pandemic.

Mmusi Maimane had noted that the situation in Italy, considered the European epicentre of the outbreak, had escalated due to a relayed reaction.

Nevertheless, Ramaphosa's last public comment on the outbreak had indicated that he felt it was simply 'too soon' to consider drastic action.

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