South Africa stepped up travel bans as the coronavirus continued to spread at an alarming pace and the country confirmed its first instances of local transmission.
The number of people infected rose to 85 on Tuesday, up from 62 the day before, and eight of those hadn't traveled outside the country, the Department of Health said in an emailed statement. There are still no fatalities to report, but sadly, a pair infants aged two and three have tested positive for the disease in the Western Cape. A 71-year-old female from the south-west is the oldest victim to catch the illness.
Gauteng has at least 14 new coronavirus cases, the majority of whom had travelled to the United Kingdom and the US. Many had a travel history through Europe, with the United Kingdom seemingly acting as the most-frequented destination for this new batch of coronavirus patients.
The province still accounts for half of the COVID-19 cases in the country with 45 infections in total since the outbreak.
Among the new cases are two males, one from Gauteng with no worldwide travel history, and one from the Western Cape, who had travelled to New Zealand. Another pair of tots, aged three and five, were also confirmed positive in this province.
The minister said the results were released close to Tuesday midnight because of discussions on the local transmissions.
Out of over 200,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,000, while more than 82,800 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers. The decision was taken to improve transparency, and the public would be informed should the institute produce contrary results, it said.