Fresh reports from South Africa suggest that the country has confirmed its first coronavirus case after a 38-year-old national tested positive. The patient was said to have just returned with his wife from Italy.
South Africa’s Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, who confirmed the case also said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that the victim with the suspected case of Covid-19 has now tested positive to the tests carried out.
Mr Mkhize explained:
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were a part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in SA on March 1.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.
“The patient has since been in a “self-isolating” since he consulted a private general practitioner on March 3.”
Mr Mkhize, when asked about the measures the country has mapped out to combat the virus, replied:
“The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NCID. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.
“The couple also has two children. The Emergency Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor.”
South Africa is now the fifth African country to confirm a case of coronavirus. The other countries are Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Senegal.
In Egypt, there have been two cases confirmed, with the first case confirmed on February 14. Egypt’s health ministry also claimed that both patients are foreign nationals.
Algeria, the second African country to confirm a case, made its first confirmation on February 26, but the north African nation went on to record the highest number of cases in the continent with 17 cases, as 9 new cases were discovered on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s first and only case was confirmed last week Thursday after an Italian national tested positive for the virus in a private facility in Lagos State.
Tunisia also has one case which was confirmed on March 2, after a Tunisian national returned from his short visit to Italy last week.
Senegal confirmed two cases on Wednesday and confirmed two more on Thursday, March 5th, taking the total of coronavirus cases in Africa to 27.