South African health officials have confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The new numbers represent a 34% jump since yesterday, bringing the total tally in the country to 51.
The new cases are concentrated in the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces, with one new case in Kwazulu-Natal.
12 of the 13 new cases were people who had recently travelled from Europe, the continent that the WHO says “has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic”.
1 of the new cases had recently traveled from Iran. None had a history of recent travel to China.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently holding an emergency cabinet meeting to address the country’s mounting health crisis.
Saturday saw 114 South African citizens arrive in the country on a special flight after being evacuated from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected. Some or the evacuees who were scheduled to depart Wuhan for repatriation reportedly pulled out of the scheme at the last minute.
South Africa currently has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent, trailing Egypt which now has over 100 confirmed cases.