South Africa

Coronavirus Update

Second SA Covid-19 case confirmed in Gauteng, and another South African tests positive abroad

Second SA Covid-19 case confirmed in Gauteng, and another South African tests positive abroad
Charlotte Maxeke academic hospital on May 31, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mduduzi Ndzingi)

A 39-year-old woman is the second person in South Africa to be confirmed as having Covid-19.  She has been admitted to a Gauteng health facility, while another South African tests positive in South Korea.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said: “The patient is a female from Gauteng who travelled to Italy along with the index case (first patient) as part of a group of 10. She did not have symptoms related to Covid-19 when she arrived back in South Africa through the OR Tambo Airport.” She is most likely to be at Charlotte Maxeke, one of two Gauteng referral hospitals for Covid-19.

She is a direct contact of the first person confirmed on Thursday March 5 as being from Hilton, Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal and who is doing well but remained in hospital as a precautionary measure on Friday. The two people are likely to have contracted Covid-19 in Italy, the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe. They travelled to South Africa from Italy via Dubai on Emirates Airline flights. 

“The public must be notified that we have information and know the whereabouts of all the other 10 people who were part of the group that had travelled to Italy. All those who came back to South Africa are currently being tested. We are now awaiting their test results to come out. Since being traced, they have remained in isolation to avoid further contact with third parties,” said health minister Zweli Mkhize in a media release today (Saturday, March 7 2020).

Another South African has tested positive for Covid-19 in Daegue, South Korea. The 39-year-old man was due to return to SA and has since remained in South Korea where he works, said Mkhize: 

“We are now following up with the South Korean authorities firstly to obtain formal confirmation and also the details of where our citizen is being treated.” 

On Friday March 6, Mkhize said the 38-year old man who first tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) is in hospital but is doing well. Mkhize explained that the people with whom the Midlands man had come into contact, including his family, were tested and the team worked in concentric circles according to levels of possible contact. The NICD was also getting in touch with those on the Emirates flights with South Africa’s first infected person (in the country), whom both the government and his own doctor have stressed is doing well. On Friday (March 6 2020 )The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said tests have been done on 200 South Africans of whom 144 were persons under investigation. 

Many people have asked why you can’t get a test on demand. The NICD’s Kerrigan McCarthy explained that individuals must meet a “case definition” before being tested and this decision is made by a doctor in consultation with the NICD. This is to prevent a run on test-kits which could use up resources for those who may genuinely need them. She said the organisation was regularly revising the case definition in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Mkhize said government wanted to identify, treat and limit the spread of Covid-19 infections like Vietnam and Nepal had. He said he believed China was doing a good job of managing the epidemic and that the rates of infection and of death were coming down. MC

The Covid-19 toll-free number is available 24/7 to attend to your concerns. The number is 0800-029-999

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