Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter
Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter

202 confirmed coronavirus cases in SA, says Mkhize

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced an increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases which now stand at 202.

Mkhize said this was a 52-case increase from the 150 cases announced on Thursday by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Gauteng has the highest confirmed new cases with 33, the Western Cape has 11 new cases and the Free State has also recorded its first 7 cases.

The Covid-19 virus has gripped the country and the world with the global death toll surpassing 10 000.

Mkhize said in the Free State, five cases had been recorded with individuals who had attended a church gathering. He said the department is working tracing the other congregants that had attended the gathering to isolate and test them.

The minister said the cases in the Free State were concentrated and that a team would be dispatched to the province to trace individuals who attended the service and those that they may have come into contact with the infected individuals.

The other two cases in the Free State, one was an individual who had recently travelled to Italy and another was a person with no history of travel. The patient with no travel history is a nurse and Mkhize said health officials were treating her and tracing the patients she had come into contact with.

The nurse as two children who have also begun showing symptoms of the virus and were awaiting testing.

Mkhize reiterated what he said on Thursday, that the coronavirus was likely to infect 60% of the population and citizens should put measures in place to try and stop a further spread of the virus.

"It can affect up to 60% of the population. The way the virus spreads that is likely to happen. It is going to be with us for a while and our bodies will have to build up the capacity to fight it," Mkhize said.  

"We must face this as a reality, it was a matter of time before the virus would reach South Africa. When it spreads, it spreads through droplets and we should increase hygiene measures to combat it.

"We need to teach our children that they need to increase their hygiene measures to fight the virus. We would like our people to heed the call and follow all the precautions. It is not through treating one person that we will curb the virus, but in changing behaviour to stop its spread," Mkhize said.

The government on Wednesday gazetted new regulations which would govern how citizens were expected to behave to stop the spread of the virus. These regulations deal with public gatherings and issuing of resources. They also limit the sale of alcohol after certain hours during the week and on weekends.

IOL

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999

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