Just in: Coronavirus Sees massive jump – the sharpest overnight rise yet

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has revealed that there have been a further 155 coronavirus cases reported in South Africa over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections up to 709.

Coronavirus cases in South Africa on Wednesday 25 March

On Tuesday morning, we were informed that cases had risen by 152 in the space of a day. That benchmark has now been beaten, and promises to get larger over the coming days and weeks. There have been no fatalities to report, but several patients are receiving intensive care-unit treatment.

The news comes on the day before South Africa goes into a nationwide lockdown. Shoppers were seen filling their trollies to the brim and stockpiling goods on Tuesday, despite government warnings against this behaviour. Panic-buyers have been a consistent feature of the coronavirus crisis.

Zweli Mkhize reveals ‘operational challenges’ in COVID-19 testing

Although a handful of patients have since recovered from contracting the disease, the number of cases is rising exponentially. We’re likely to top 1 000 by the end of the week. The planned lockdown will, if successful, reduce the number of transmissions in South Africa and allow the country’s hospitals to handle demand.

Zweli Mkhize, meanwhile, has revealed that the disruption of flights has affected the way South Africa can implement its coronavirus tests. SAA have since grounded all flights, with the airline industry taking an absolute pummeling from this international crisis. The government have made financial aid available to workers affected by the disease, so SAA may have to wait in the queue before they’re bailed out again.