Minister of Health in SA, Dr Zweli Mkhize
Picture: Brendan Magaar African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Health in SA, Dr Zweli Mkhize Picture: Brendan Magaar African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa’s coronavirus infections jump to 38

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Mar 14, 2020

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday that the country’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections had jumped to 38. 

On Friday, confirmed infections in South Africa stood at 24.  

“This means that our numbers have increased by 14 from Friday’s confirmed cases of 24,” said Mkhize. 

The minister had warned on Friday that there would be more infections as the department along with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases awaited laboratory confirmation. 

The new infections mean Gauteng is now the province with the most infections, with 17, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 11, Western Cape with 9 and Mpumalanga, with one. 

Commenting on the repratriation of more than 100 citizens from Wuhan city in China, Mkhize said they were excited that the SANDF-chartered flight had successfully brought the group home. 

The group touched down at Polokwane’s Gateway International Airport just before 11am on Saturday morning. 

“All the citizens have now settled in at the Ranch Hotel. Tomorrow we will give an update regarding their arrival. We are prioritizing that our people settle in well. 

“Thereafter all protocols as identified by the SANDF and the Department of Health will be properly followed and implemented,” said Mkhize. 

Meanwhile, the global Covid-19 death toll has risen to over 5 600 deaths and just under 150 000 cases. 

In South Africa, there have been no Covid-19 fatalities. The breakdown of the new infections were as follows: 

NEW SA INFECTIONS 

Gauteng: 7 new infections - which takes provincial tally to 17

A 76-year-old man who had travelled to the UK and the US.  

A 72-year-old woman who had travelled to the UK and the US. 

A 47-year-old man who had travelled to the UK and the US.  

A 52-year-old man who had travelled to Germany.  

A 38-year-old man who had travelled to the Netherlands and Germany. 

A 62-year-old man who had travelled to the Netherlands.  

A 19-year-old woman who had travelled to France and Italy. 

Western Cape: 6 new infections - which takes the provincial tally to 9

A 27-year-old man who had travelled to Brazil.

A 33-year-old woman who had travelled to France.  

A 49-year-old man who had travelled to France and Italy.  

A 14-year-old woman who had travelled to the US and Dubai.

A 73-year-old man who had travelled to the UK.  

A 32-year-old man who had travelled to the UK. 

KwaZulu-Natal: 1 new infection - which takes the provincial tally to 11

A 47-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland.

On Sunday, Cabinet ministers will convene for an urgent meeting. The meeting was called by President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss ways to address rising coronavirus fears in the country. 

A report in the Saturday Star on Saturday said South Africans were now more concerned about the virus than load shedding, which has been a source of frustration in the country for a number of years. 

“The patients have now been informed, all information has been verified and contact tracing is underway. 

“In view of the rising numbers, President Ramaphosa has called for an urgent cabinet meeting to held on Sunday. This meeting will explore ways of intensifying the country’s response to this outbreak,” said Mkhize. 

COVID-19 INFECTIONS BY PROVINCE

Gauteng - 17

KwaZulu-Natal - 11

Western Cape - 9

Mpumalanga - 1 

SA TOTAL - 38

There have been no fatalities in South Africa. In Africa, there have been seven confirmed fatalities so far, with three fatalities in Algeria, two in Egypt and one each, between the borders of Sudan and Morocco. 

IOL

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