Coronavirus: SA's first Covid-19 patient is 'at home, self-isolating' - NICD

2020-03-05 15:38
(Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the patient who tested positive in South Africa's first case of Covid-19 Coronavirus, is at home, self-isolating.

"We confirm that a suspected case of #COVID19 has tested positive," an NICD tweet read after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's announcement that a man who returned from Italty had tested positive. 

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"This is not as a failure but as a success of our health systems to be able to detect and rapidly identify cases.

"The case has been self-isolated at home since the onset of symptoms and is receiving treatment."

While it was not clear at which port of entry the patient landed, Mkhize said that a tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal.

Mkhize stated earlier that the patient is a 38-year-old man who travelled to Italy with his wife.

They were part of a group of 10 people and arrived back in South Africa on Sunday March 1. 

"The patient consulted a private general practitioner on [Tuesday] March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough."

A practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the laboratory.

The patient "self-isolated" 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 NICD.

Mkhize said the doctor has been self-isolated as well.

On February 27, President Cyril Ramaphosa directed the repatriation of South African citizens from Wuhan city in Hubei province, China.

An estimated 199 South Africans citizens were in Wuhan as per the latest consolidated list from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Of those, 132 wanted to go home.

Two South Africans working on a cruise ship who had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus would also head home soon after since testing negative following treatment.

Government Communication and Information System acting director-general Phumla Williams said the two were working on the Diamond Princess when they initially tested positive for Covid-19.

A press briefing by Mkhize is due later on the matter after Parliament concludes a debate on the virus in the National Assembly.

Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  cape town  |  health  |  coronavirus
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