Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed the country’s first neonatal death related to Covid-19 on Wednesday evening – a prematurely born baby who had lung difficulties.
The two-day-old had required ventilation support immediately after birth, Mkhize said.
“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.
“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.”
Mkhize announced 27 more Covid-19-related deaths on Wednesday evening, bringing the total fatalities to 339 across the country.
A total of 18 003 Covid-19 infections have been recorded, with 8 950 recoveries.
“We are also devastated to have registered the death of a healthcare 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,” Mkhize added.
“I want to send a special tribute to the healthcare 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,” Mkhize said.
Breakdown of deaths and recoveries
The Western Cape recorded the most deaths due to Covid-19 with 210 and 5 105 recoveries.
KwaZulu-Natal has 46 deaths and 842 recoveries.
The Eastern Cape has 45 deaths and 1 036 recoveries.
Gauteng has 27 deaths and 1 694 recoveries.
The Free State has six and 118 recoveries.
Limpopo has three deaths and 42 recoveries.
The North West has one death and 28 recoveries.
The Northern Cape has one death and 27 recoveries.