South Africa records second coronavirus death as infections jump to 1,280


  • World
  • Monday, 30 Mar 2020

FILE PHOTO: A member of the South African National Defence Force checks documents of a resident as they patrol in an attempt to enforce a 21 day nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's confirmed cases of the coronavirus increased by 93 to 1,280 people on Sunday and the death toll doubled to two, the Health Ministry said, as the country entered the third day of a national lockdown and officials announced new measures to deal with the economic fallout.

South African health officials said the 74-year-old man in the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province had been diagnosed two days ago after showing flu-like symptoms and already had skin cancer.

South Africa entered a 21-day lockdown on Friday with people restricted to their homes and most businesses shuttered.

Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially declared 112 people who were under quarantine in a remote resort for two weeks after being repatriated from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus began, as all testing negative and free to return home.

Treasury officials said on Sunday they were considering approaching the International Monetary Fund for emergency funds to fight the outbreak, the largest so far on the continent and which some experts fear may overwhelm the already stretched health system.

The Treasury said it was also introducing a tax subsidy of 500 rand ($28) a month per worker to employers for the next four months to cushion financial losses suffered by firms from the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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