JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s confirmed cases of the coronavirus increased by 93 to 1,280 people on Sunday (Mar 29) and the death toll doubled to two, the Health Ministry said, as the country entered the third day of a national lockdown and officials announced new measures to deal with the economic fallout.
South African health officials said the 74-year-old man in the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province had been diagnosed two days ago after showing flu-like symptoms and already had skin cancer.
South Africa entered a 21-day lockdown on Friday with people restricted to their homes and most businesses shuttered.
READ: South Africa braces for lockdown as coronavirus cases spike to 554
Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially declared 112 people who were under quarantine in a remote resort for two weeks after being repatriated from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus began, as all testing negative and free to return home.
Treasury officials said on Sunday they were considering approaching the International Monetary Fund for emergency funds to fight the outbreak, the largest so far on the continent and which some experts fear may overwhelm the already stretched health system.
The Treasury said it was also introducing a tax subsidy of 500 rand (US$28) a month per worker to employers for the next four months to cushion financial losses suffered by firms from the coronavirus.