THE first case of coronavirus in South Africa has been confirmed after a 38-year-old man tested positive for the virus in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
In a statement issued by Dr. Zweli Mkhize, the South African Minister of Health, he said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) confirmed that a suspected case tested positive for COVID-19.
“The patient was travelling with his wife and was part of a group of ten people when they arrived in South Africa on Sunday March 1, 2020. The man consulted with a private general practitioner on March 3 with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat, and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to a lab,” the minister said.
Mkhize said that he was informed that the man has been self-isolating since 3 March.
“The Emergency Operating Centre in South Africa has identified the people the patient had contact with by interviewing him and the doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to Kwazulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from the NCID. The doctor was also placed in self-isolation,” he said.
Minister MKhize said that the public will be kept abreast of situation and that a formal press briefing will be held after the parliamentary debate later on Wednesday evening.
So far, more than 90 000 Coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide while more than 3 000 people have died globally. The vast majority of deaths occurred in China.
In Italy more than 3 000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 while more than a 100 people has already died after being infected with the deadly virus.