Picture: AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Picture: AP Photo/Luca Bruno

There are only 16 confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA, says health minister

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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National health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has said there are only 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

Speaking during a media briefing in Limpopo on Thursday, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said they have had to retract statements issued earlier in the day regarding a man in the Free State. 

Initially, the department said a 32-year-old male who came into contact with a Chinese businessman. 

"This was the first case of local transmission as all others have been by patients who had travelled abroad," the department said.

However, Mkhize said the Free State man's test was negative. He said the man was initially tested at a private laboratory, however tests still needed to be verified by the national health laboratory.

"We verified the results and they proved to be negative. This is bound to happen because tests still need to be verified by the national health lab," he said.

Mkhize said the man's symptoms did not fit the proper case definition. 

"We wanted to make sure that additional verification was conducted and the tests were negative," he said. 


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