S. Africa reports first case of COVID-19

Friday, 06 Mar, 2020

Following the announcement that South Africa had recorded its first case of coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on locals not to panic but to be alert.

People at the Life Care Centre in Kirkland are being tested for COVID-19.

A 38-year-old man who had recently traveled to Italy tested positive for the disease, and he and the doctor who treated him are now in quarantine.

"The patient consulted a private GP on 3 March with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough".

It is further reported that the patient has been self-isolating since March 3. Two other employees of the company in Milan, Italy, were also been infected with the virus. Swabs were taken and sent to a laboratory for testing.

Mkhize said the case was detected in the country's eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.

The local currency weakened by as much as 1.4% to R15.46 against the dollar, R17.30 against the euro and R19.99 against the pound.

"The risk of transmission for employees who were not in close contact with this individual is assessed to be low", the email said.

According to the World Health Organization latest situation report, COVID-19 which originated from China and began spreading in December, has now infected over 93,000 people globally, and killed over 3,000 people. The WHO declared the outbreak of coronavirus in China a global health emergency on January 30. However, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure said in a statement Wednesday that no venue had been confirmed.

Discovery Health said it is taking prudent and proactive steps to ensure members are covered in the event that Covid-19 infections occur within South Africa.

The coronavirus - COVID-19, as the new strain is called - is thought to have originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan late past year.

An interdisciplinary team of relevant departments including health, home affairs, social development, and the defense will form part of the repatriation team which will be flown to China from South Africa, government spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement.