A TWO-DAY-OLD baby is believed to be the youngest person to die from coronavirus in South Africa. The infant was among 27 people who are the latest to have died after testing positive for the virus, bringing the total number of national deaths in the country to 339, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The minister confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday evening that the two-day-old baby was the country’s first neonatal mortality-related to coronavirus.
“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,” said Mkhize.
“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.”
As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 18 003.
According to Mkhize, a total of 505 861 tests have been conducted with 18 252 done in the last 24 hour cycle.
There are currently 8 950 recoveries in the country.
“We are also devastated to have registered the death of a 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,” said Mkhize.
“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. We wish to express our condolences to all the loved,” said Mkhize.
(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)