South Africa confirms 13 cases of coronavirus

Thursday March 12 2020


A medical staff member holds samples from patients infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus before nucleic acid test at Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on March 10, 2020. PHOTO | AFP 

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South Africa confirmed six new cases of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) on Wednesday, bringing the number of people being treated for the infectious disease nationally to 13, the Minister of Health said.

The latest confirmed cases were detected in three provinces – four in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and one in the Western Cape.

“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,” Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday.

In Gauteng, a 33-year-old woman who had travelled to Italy and returned on March 1, 2020, a couple in their early 30s who had travelled to Germany, and a 57-year-old man who had travelled to Austria and Italy all tested positive.

The KwaZulu Natal case is a 40-year-old man who had travelled to Portugal while in the Western Cape a 36-year-old man who had travelled to multiple countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey tested positive.


Dr Mkhize added that so far 3,642 tests had been conducted.

“More information relating to these case 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,” he added.

More than 119,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus globally, with 4,300 deaths recorded. More than 66,000 people have recovered from the virus.