Picture: Yang Wenbin
Picture: Yang Wenbin

WATCH: WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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Durban - The World Health Organisation has officially declared the coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. 

At least 4300 people have died from the virus, globally, with over 121 50 confirmed infections in more than 100 countries. 

As of Wednesday, more than 3000 deaths have been reported in China, while Italy is on lockdown with more than 600 cases confirmed. 

"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13 fold and the number of affected countries has tripled," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry confirmed that six more patients had tested positive for coronavirus - taking the number of infected people to 13. 

All of the new infected coronavirus patients had all travelled back to the country from Europe. The minister made the announcement on Wednesday morning. From the six new Covid-19 patients, four are based in Gauteng, while one each were from the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces.  

"All the patients have now been advised. Those who are symptomatic have started receiving treatment. Some of these patients are already in hospital while some, specifically those who are asymptomatic are in self quarantine. Contact tracing has also started for all these cases. It is also noteworthy that to date, 642 tests have been conducted. More information relating to these cases will be communicated. We also request that the privacy of the patients and the families continues to be observed by the media and members of the public," health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said. 


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