Coronavirus: Gauteng woman tests positive for virus

By SIHLE MLAMBO Time of article published Mar 7, 2020

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East London - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Saturday confirmed South Africa’s second positive case of the deadly coronavirus.

In a statement, the minister said a Gauteng woman who had recently returned to the country from Italy had tested positive for the virus. She had been part of a group of 10 who returned from Italy on Sunday. 

On Thursday, South Africa confirmed its first coronavirus case after a 38-year-old man from `Hilton tested positive for the virus. 

“The public must be notified that we have information and know the whereabouts of all the other 10 people who were part of the group that had travelled to Italy. All those who came back to South Africa, are currently being tested. 

“We are now awaiting their test results to come out. Since being traced, they have remained in isolation to avoid any further contact with third parties,” said Mkhize.

On Friday, Nedbank confirmed they had placed several staff members in self-quarantine after they came in contact with a staff member who had been in contact with the 38-year-old man from Hilton who was South Africa’s first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus. 

The staff members have been tested and were expecting results soon. 

“The second patient who has now tested positive for COV-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,” said Mkhize.

The minister committed to keeping the public fully informed about all developments.  He said another South African had tested positive for the deadly virus in South Korea.

“We also wish to notify the public that our embassy has advised us that a 39-year-old male South African who works in Daegu, South Korea has also tested positive for COVID-19. 

“He was due to return to South Africa and has since remained in South Korea. We are now following up with the South Korean authorities firstly to obtain formal confirmation of this case and also the details of where our citizen is being treated,” Mkhize added. 

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government on Saturday confirmed that there was no coronavirus in the province.

“The reported suspected case detected in Parow yesterday initially matched the case definition based on information provided by the person. As per our response protocol, our health response team immediately came into  effect. 

“Upon further investigation it was found the person did not meet the criteria  for COVID-19 and did not require to be tested. We ask the public not to use the COVID-19 situation for personal gain as this leads to misusing of resources and unnecessary panic,” said the Western Cape government. 

Mkhize however called for calm and said the privacy of affected patients should be respected. 

“Our commitment to do everything in our power to mitigate against the uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 in our country, remains,” said Mkhize.


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