COVID-19 Latest: Confirmed cases up by 803 with 27 more deaths

The Health Ministry on Wednesday 20 May 2020 announced that confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have now risen to 18 003. This is an increase of 803 as the total number of confirmed cases stood at 17 200 on Tuesday. 


The department also confirmed that the latest death toll is now at 339, which is an increase of 27 coronavirus-related deaths; a total number of 312 cases had been reported by Tuesday, 19 May.


The total number of recoveries to date is 8 950.

COVID-19 update: South Africa, Wednesday 20 May 2020

First neonatal mortality


Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed that the first neonatal mortality had been reported when a 2-day-old baby was born prematurely and had lung difficulties, the baby required ventilation support immediately after birth.


Mkhize explained that the mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive as well. He adds:


It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity. We extend a special word of comfort to the mother of this child and salute the neonatologists, nurses and all allied and technical personnel who had the difficult task of caring for the neonate to the end". Health Minister Zweli Mkhize


As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases in South Africa is 18003, the total number of deaths is 339 and the total number of recoveries is 8950. pic.twitter.com/7s0UN009k5— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 20, 2020


#COVID19SouthAfrica Statistics as at 20 May 2020. pic.twitter.com/2WM5oCnqW2— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 20, 2020


Mkhize also expressed condolences for a health care worker from the Western Cape, saying the "loss is felt in so many ways when COVID-19 claims the lives of the very people who are the bedrock of the national response".


"I want to send a special tribute to the health care workers who continue to serve with honour and compassion, despite the real risks they face in the frontline."

Breakdown of new confirmed COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases by province


At the time of publishing, the Western Cape still has the most confirmed cases with a total of 11 262, followed by Gauteng with 2 400 cases, KwaZulu-Natal with 1 650 and Eastern Cape with 2 215.


In addition, 180 cases have thus far been confirmed for the Free State, along with 93 confirmed cases in Limpopo, 93 cases in Mpumalanga, 38 cases in the Northern Cape and 72 cases in North West. 

Tests and screening


As of today:

  1. A total of 506 861 tests have been conducted, of which 18 252 were done in the last 24 hours.

  2. The total number of tests conducted in the private sector stands at 245 632, of which 9 822 were done in the last 24 hours. [*]In addition, 261 229 tests were conducted in the public sector, with 8 430 being done within the last 24 hours.


Global statistics


At the time of publishing, global cases stand at 5 036 222 and 326 242 deaths. More than 1 990 057 people have recovered from the virus since the first cases were recorded in Wuhan, China in December 2019.


It was declared as a worldwide pandemic in January 2020. COVID-19 is now affecting 213 countries and territories around the world.


The USA has the most confirmed cases – 1 576 652 confirmed cases and 93 858 confirmed deaths. Russia is now the second most-affected country after overtaking Spain, with 308 705 confirmed cases 2 972 deaths.