Update: Mkhize Confirms One COVID-19-related death in the Western Cape


Minister of Health, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, released a statement on Friday morning saying that 2 Western Cape women had died due to COVID-19. However, Friday evening, Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, spoke on behalf of Mkhize during a media briefing saying only one of the women was confirmed to have had the virus, the other tested negative for Covid-19.

Dr. Mkhize later released a statement saying the clinicians who treated the second patient, a 28-year-old woman, reported that she arrived at the hospital in respiratory distress.

The statement continues saying, “At the time of presentation, she was hypoxic. She was intubated and transferred to hospital during the early hours of this morning, (ie 27 March 2020 at 3 am). On arrival in ICU, she was declared dead. The clinical picture was suggestive of COVID-19 and therefore a test was conducted.”

The negative test result was received at 17:20. Her family was also tested and all results were negative.

“She is therefore no longer considered a COVID-19 case. As such there is only 1 confirmed COVID-19 death in SA.”

The confirmed, and only Covid-19 fatality thus far was a 48-year-old female who tested positive on 23 March 2020. She was suffering from a pulmonary embolism meaning she had an underlying disease.

An extract from Dr. Zweli Mkhize’s statement on Friday evening

In an update on Friday afternoon Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said the Western Cape had recorded 260 infections.

The regional breakdown of infections:

  • Cape Town Metro – 195
  • Garden Route – 13
  • Cape Winelands – 10
  • Overberg – 7
  • Unknown location – 35

The national government announced on Friday that South Africa currently has 1170 confirmed positive cases, an increase of 243 new cases since 26 March.