South Africa has recorded its first death as a result of the coronavirus, the health ministry announced on Friday.

In a short statement nine hours into the official 21-day lockdown, health minister Zweli Mkhize said two people had died as a result of Covid-19.

“This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from Covid-19. These two deaths occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public hospital,” Mkhize said in a statement.

The health ministry also announced that by Friday morning, the number of positive coronavirus infections around the country had surpassed 1,000.

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