The South African Department of Health has confirmed the first case of the deadly Covid-19 in the country.
In a statement released on Thursday, 5th March, the Health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said that the first case of Covid-19, had been confirmed in South Africa.
“This morning, Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that a suspected case of Covid-19 has tested positive,” reads the statement.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took a swab and delivered it to the lab.
“The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children.
“The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from the NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.”
The Health minister further said that another press briefing would be held later on Thursday evening after the parliamentary debate in the evening to shed more light on the issue.