- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed South Africa's youngest Covid-19 fatality
- A two-day old premature baby lost its young life to the virus according to the minister
- The department lamented the loss as the nation continues to endure the pandemic
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced the youngest Covid-19 fatality after the death of a two-day old baby.
In a statement released by the Department of Health, Mkhize took a moment to acknowledge the nation's loss:
"Sadly we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to Covid-19 this was a 2-day-old baby that was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth."
The minister explained that the mother had tested positive for the virus and transmitted it during the pregnancy:
"The mother had tested positive for Covid-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 as well. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity."
Mkhize has extended a word of comfort to the family at this difficult time, commenting further that:
"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."
Briefly.co.za reported that a Western Cape health care worker had also been one of the 339 fatalities recorded on Wednesday evening.
Mkhize noted the devastating loss of a crucial fighter in the battle against the virus, commenting that:
"We are also devastated to have registered the death of health care worker in the Western Cape. 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."
The minister took a moment to pay tribute to all the professionals who are helping SA overcome the disaster:
"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."
The minister concluded by expressing his sympathies for all the families affected by the pandemic that is expected to peak later this year.
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