A two-day-old baby has become the youngest person to die with coronavirus in South Africa after being born prematurely to a mother that tested positive.

It is the country’s first neonatal death.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the premature baby had lung problems and required ventilation immediately after birth.

“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 on Wednesday.

The hand of a newborn baby

South Africa, which has the highest coronavirus infections in Africa, reported 27 new deaths bringing the total fatalities to 339.

Some 803 new coronavirus cases were announced on Wednesday evening taking the total to 18,003 – of those 8,950 have recovered.