South Africa reported its first two deaths from COVID-19 on Friday morning, hours after the country started a three-week curfew to stem the virus’ spread.
In a statement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said both deaths were reported in the Western Cape province, one at a private hospital and the other at a government facility.
The minister said COVID-19 cases in South Africa “have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1,000 mark,” without sharing the specific figure.
He said more details would be shared later on Friday.
On Thursday, South Africa’s tally of COVID-19 cases jumped to 927 after 218 new cases were confirmed across the country.
A 21-day countrywide curfew started at midnight on Thursday, which requires all South Africans, except workers of essential sectors, to remain at home.
Essential sectors include health, security, food production, and telecommunications.
Since emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 176 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The worldwide total since last December has surpassed 537,000, which includes over 24,000 deaths and more than 123,000 recoveries.