Third coronavirus case confirmed in South Africa


Third coronavirus case confirmed in South Africa.

The wife of SA’s first novel coronavirus patient has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

This brings to three the number of South Africans diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

“This morning we have received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of ten. I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for Covid-19 and is therefore the third confirmed case in South Africa,” Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday.

“We expect the results of the other six group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours,” Mkhize said. “It is important to advise the public that the couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative.

However, as part of taking extra precautions, these children will remain in self-quarantine until their parents have tested negative. At that point, they will also be tested to ensure that they remain negative. Until then they will be regarded as potentially infected. This means they will continue not attend school. This is in an effort to curb the risk of spread to other children and teachers.”

Mkhize said he had spoken to the first confirmed patient on Sunday morning. “He was upbeat and jovial. I also spoke to the doctor who is treating him. She confirmed that this patient is responding well and is now asymptomatic. At the right time, as determined by the treating doctors, the patient will be retested to check his recovery progress,” Mkhize said.

The minister said the department will issue a statement on Sunday and conduct live interviews to explain to the public the clinical observations and guidelines that are recommended to be followed in instances of asymptomatic patients.

“These will be based on the [World Health Organisation] guidelines and treatment methodology and disease management approaches that countries like China (which has presented a very high recovery rate) have used in dealing with asymptomatic patients,” Mkhize said.

Two more cases

On Thursday, South Africa confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a 38-year-old man from Hilton, who had visited Italy on holiday with eight friends. The man, his wife and two children are all isolated in their home.

A second case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in South Africa on Saturday.

A 39-year-old woman from Gauteng, who was part of the same travel group to Italy as the first case, was diagnosed with the virus, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed.

“The second patient who has now tested positive for Covid-19 will now be immediately admitted to a public health facility in Gauteng that government has identified as one of the hospitals that are ready to receive Covid-19-positive patients,” he said.

Eighteen people who were in contact with the first diagnosed South African have been quarantined, while more than 300 people have been tested for the coronavirus, said Mkhize.


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