SA now has a total of 85 cases of coronavirus

In an overnight update from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, government confirmed 23 new infections, eight of which were local transmissions.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefing the media on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There are now 85 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Africa.

In an overnight update from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, government confirmed 23 new infections, eight of which were local transmissions. This means citizens contracted the virus without travelling abroad.

South Africa has declared a state of disaster with mass events cancelled, schools closing and international travel restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading kicking in on Wednesday morning.

Gauteng has at least 14 new coronavirus cases, the majority of whom had travelled to the UK and the US.

There are also four confirmed cases of local transmission involving people who have no international travel history.

The province still accounts for half of the COVID-19 cases in the country with 45 infections in total since the outbreak.

KwaZulu-Natal's infection rate has also increased with four new cases.

Mkhize has revealed that two of these patients are children under the age of six who have not travelled abroad.

The Western Cape has recorded the youngest confirmed coronavirus case so far - a two-year-old boy who was infected without leaving South Africa.

Among the five new infections in the province is a three-year-old boy who had recently visited the UK.

These SA borders and ports to be closed

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that 35 of South Africa's land borders and two sea ports would be closed from 18 March 2020 in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)