Johannesburg - The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government says Patient Zero - the first South African to test positive for the coronavirus - is all clear and has returned home.
Patient Zero, a 38-year-old man from Hilton in the KZN Midlands, was confirmed as South Africa’s first Covid-19 patient almost two weeks ago.
He had been on a skiing trip to Italy with his wife and eight others. He developed symptoms two days after landing back in the country.
Since, the country has 202 confirmed coronavirus cases and two recoveries, with no deaths reported.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala dubbed patient zero’s recovery as the "first signs of victory".
“This development of the recuperation of the first two patients inspires hope in line with KZN's coronavirus battle mantra ‘Siyayinqoba (We will conquer) the coronavirus pandemic’.
“This is very important as it dispels fear among our people and confirms that coronavirus is curable through early medical intervention and through people heeding precautions laid out by the government,” said Zikalala.
Zikalala is leading KZN’s provincial command team, which is the highest level intervention structure to combat the virus in the province. The command team comprises MECs, heads of departments, correctional services and the police among other key stakeholders.
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu also beamed at the news of the patients returning home.
“This is a serious test of our readiness to roll-out the National Health Insurance,” she said.
Meanwhile, the KZN government said its MECs would be visiting districts to lead awareness drives about the virus from next Wednesday.
The MECs would also check the province’s state of readiness for the virus and check for the availability of infrastructure to combat the spread of the virus.
The KZN provincial government said it was going all out to mitigate further infections and it said the intensification of the public education, awareness and education campaign would go a long way towards fighting the stigma around the virus.