COVID-19 death toll rises to five

DURBAN - South Africa reported a coronavirus death toll of five on Tuesday.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said despite huge backlogs at lab services, 39,500 tests have been conducted as the country observed the fifth day of a 21-day lockdown, in a bid to contain the outbreak.

"The rate of increase is not as high as anticipated," Mkhize said.

"We are observing the trend. We anticipated 4,000-5,000 but we haven't reached that."

He said there are now 1,353 confirmed cases. 

"We want to be ahead of the curve. Patients are recovering well," he said.

Mkhize said that most patients are in stable condition.

He attributed a large part of the lower than expected infection numbers to the closure of ports of entry, saying up to last week 70 percent of positive cases were passengers coming into the country.

He reminded South Africans to prioritise personal hygiene and stay at home.

- Additional reporting AFP

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