May 20, 2020 / 8:24 PM / 14 days ago

South Africa records first neonatal coronavirus death, toll jumps to 339

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa recorded its first neonatal coronavirus death on Wednesday, as the death toll jumped by 27 to 339, the health ministry said.

The two-day old baby was born prematurely and had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth, Health minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

“The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity,” he said.

South Africa, which has the highest coronavirus infections in Africa, reported 803 new cases in a 24-hour cycle, taking the total to 18,003 while 8,950 people have recovered.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Grant McCool

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