South Africa has recorded its first death of an infant due to coronavirus with the passing of a two-day-old child, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.The baby, whose identity has not been revealed, was born prematurely, with lung difficulties that required ventilation support immediately, Mkhize said.
“The mother had tested positive for Covid-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus as well,” he said.
He added: “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 neo-natologists, nurses and all allied and technical personnel who had the difficult task of caring for the neonate to the end.”
The baby’s passing brings the country’s total Covid-19 death toll to 339, the minister said, out of 18,003 confirmed cases of the disease.
According to the country’s latest Covid-19 Modelling Consortium estimates, some 40,000 South Africans are expected to die of the disease from 1.4 million infections by the end of this year.