live

RUNDOWN | 6 things you need to know about the coronavirus in SA

accreditation
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize during the Inter-Ministerial Committee dealing with coronavirus in South Africa.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize during the Inter-Ministerial Committee dealing with coronavirus in South Africa.
GCIS
Last Updated
Live News Feed
Go to start

09 Mar 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased to seven, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Monday.

“We are not surprised with these results, we think the kind of exposure these members had, if it was enough to create an impression in one person, it was most likely that all of them could have had a similar kind of exposure,” Mkhize said at a press briefing.

Here are 6 key points from the briefing:

1. Mkhize announced that all the people - six from KwaZulu-Natal and one in Gauteng - were part of the group of 10 who went on a ski trip to Italy.

2. The four recent people have altogether identified 65 people that they have made contact with who will be tested and monitored.

3. There has been no call by government to close schools. However, Mhkize said should schools decide to close this would be an “ad-hoc situation”.

4. Travel bans have also not been implemented in South Africa.

5. Mkhize stressed that testing is done on people arriving from outside South Africa at all ports of entry into the country. These include scans, in-flight inspections and a questionnaire for incoming international arrivals as well as some domestic flights.

6. The minister added that plans to evacuate at least 180 South Africans in Wuhan, China are still underway.

Have a look at some of our top stories:

Suspense is killing us, says teacher who wants to return to sunny SA

South African teacher Sizwe Sibiya, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter have been confined to their apartment in Wuhan for more than 50 days.

"It has been incredibly hard for everybody," said Sibiya. "It's quite cold here, it's still winter," he added. "So we are looking forward to the sun."

Teachers in the clear for coronavirus

There are no teachers who have tested positive for Covid-19, says the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Pupil, teacher safety a priority, says basic education dept

As some schools close amid concerns over the coronavirus, the Department of Basic Education says it has received numerous queries about its plans to deal with the spread of the virus.

Durban pupils exposed to travel group given all-clear

A Durban North school has reported that two of its pupils, who were in contact with the South Africans who returned from coronavirus-hit Italy last week, have tested negative for the virus.

Hilton couple's two children will now join them in quarantine

“I am sad that my wife has tested positive but I am pleased that the boys are both negative. In terms of protocol, my wife, as a confirmed patient, will join me in hospital. The boys will join us too to minimise the stress on them. In this way we can all be together and be monitored by the doctors. All three of them are still asymptomatic. The kids are in high spirits and are aware of what is going on,” said Patient Zero.

'The girl who cracked': Quarantine chronicles of a South African student in Wuhan

She was running around the residence, naked, and wailing. They covered her in a blanket and took her back to her room. Then, Olivia disappeared.

- Compiled by Adiel Ismail

Watch Monday's full press briefing here:

09 Mar 2020

No teachers have tested positive for Covid-19, according to Dr Natalie Mayet from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Mayet spoke at a media briefing by an inter-ministerial committee on Monday where an update was given on the number of people affected by the coronavirus in South Africa.

READ HERE:

No teachers have tested positive for Covid-19, says NICD

09 Mar 2020

The Department of Basic Education says it has been inundated with queries about its plans to deal with potential spread of the virus in schools.

MORE HERE:

Coronavirus: Pupil, teacher safety a priority, says basic education department

09 Mar 2020

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Monday that four more people who were part of the a group of 9 travellers who recently returned to South Africa from Italy - the same group from which South Africa's first three coronavirus patients came - have tested positive.
Coronavirus update: 4 more cases confirmed, bringing total in SA to 7

09 Mar 2020

About 21 contacts have been contacted by the department from the first positive case.

From the second positive person - 13 contacts, the third positive person has 15 contacts.

The fourth person is a 38-year-old female and has 16 contacts, her husband is the fifth infected person and had 15 contacts.

The sixth person to have been tested positive of the virus is a 45-year-old male in KZN with 13 contacts and the 7th person is a 38-year-old male from Pietermaritzburg with 21 contacts.

Contacts refer to the number of people the affected parties were in contact with.

09 Mar 2020

Although a person may be tested positive for the virus, they can be sent home because there are no symptoms to be treated but will be checked on every two days until they are tested negative.

09 Mar 2020

Even if there are symptoms there treatment received is not for the virus but for the symptoms like a cough, pneumonia, high fever.

09 Mar 2020

Not everyone who is infected must be hospitalised.

09 Mar 2020

The virus is shed from the throat round about the day that symptoms begin. It reaches its peak with about 2 days.

The illness lasts about 2 weeks in a less serious case.

09 Mar 2020

80% of people in China have a mild sense of the disease. 20% have a more severe illness and 5% of those need ICU treatment. 2% of those die.

09 Mar 2020

The elderly or those over the age of 75 might have a severe case of the disease. Children under 15 years old is very rare and uncommon.

The throat swab testing done at airports looks for viral RNA in the throat. It is only present when the symptoms are present.

09 Mar 2020

The affected South Africans from Italy are likely infected from a common source.

09 Mar 2020

84 were identified for those who are being repatriated from China, Once everything is closed it will be announced says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

There's not a large number of infections from child to child, says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

The department doesn't do routine checks. One issue is that a person must have symptoms and they must have travelled from a place with high infections Mkhize says.

09 Mar 2020

The students in Limpopo came from China. Our focus was on the people who came from Wuhan - where the was a lockdown and quarantine and where there was the highest number of infected people.

The health department wasn't too worried with the Limpopo students because they weren't from Wuhan. They would not have been allowed to leave China if they were infected with Covid-19, Mkhize says.

09 Mar 2020

There is close interaction between the health and education departments says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

The case in the North West, the case came up ambivalent, it didn't show negative or positive. A retest was done and the person was negative of the coronavirus.

09 Mar 2020

The panic buying is not just in SA, in some countries people are stocking up on food.

09 Mar 2020

We are aware of the panic buying says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

People need to be in contact with an area where there is an infection - that is where the virus can be picked up.

We will try and detect symptoms. It doesn't matter which is the port  of entry, screening will still take place.

09 Mar 2020

Mkhize assures that screening is being done at airports and he can't take media there because it's a security place.

09 Mar 2020

Results of tests will be made available as soon as they are available, Mkhize says.

09 Mar 2020

The department is also speaking to other countries.

09 Mar 2020

We get our primary guidance from the WHO. We are looking for technical support from the WHO, Mkhize says.

09 Mar 2020

There is no discussion on the use of technology for when schools are closed says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

The issue is that portfolio committee went to observe the testing, questionnaires and if there is an isolation centre. All these things are in place says Mkhize.

Initially we were only focusing on China but increased focus and vigilant measures were taken. There was also an increase in in flight inspection and the safety gear worn by the staff testing travellers.

From where we sit, we are scanning people who come from outside of the country and not domestic flights.

09 Mar 2020

Testing happens at land, sea and airports and transit areas.

09 Mar 2020

Dr Natalie Mayet from the NICD says SA has developed a pandemic preparedness plan in 2016 already. All the policies are benchmarked with the WHO.

09 Mar 2020

The number of people tested positive is seven the health minister confirms. The number of people who have been tested throughout the country is over 300 but can't confirm the number of people tested who were in contact with those who tested positive.

09 Mar 2020

A second scan is done on travellers.

09 Mar 2020

The people who are doing screenings are from the department of health, says Motsoaledi.

09 Mar 2020

People come via countries which don't have bans on them. We continue to screen and give them attention if necessary says Mkhize

09 Mar 2020

In terms of what is done when people land in SA, it is determined if people are coming from an area of high transmissions the travellers will complete a form, a team of well geared people will test or do screenings for the virus.

09 Mar 2020

Mkhize: On Grayston prep school, if someone is contacted to say you are on the contact list, they react in a different way and might close the school.

09 Mar 2020

We've had a discussion on travel bans. The ministers have met with the president. The major concern is the safety of the citizens, says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

When someone has been tested negative or didn't have symptoms, there's a possibility that they did not have the virus says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

We've got a situation where people (the 9 travellers) have met others before they were made aware that they had the virus, says Mkhize.

09 Mar 2020

People who are getting infected are people who have not been to China.  

Mkhize says we have to be vigilant

09 Mar 2020

Mkhize says the government is tracking each patient and their contacts

09 Mar 2020

Government is now tracking other people who were on the plane with the first positive patient

09 Mar 2020

Positive results are not a surprise, says Mkhize
Positive results are not a surprise, says Mkhize
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Proteas star Quinton de Kock continue playing at the T20 World Cup even if he doesn't take the knee in support of the fight against racism?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes! He should be allowed to show his support any way he chooses
37% - 649 votes
No! If De Kock refuses to unite with his teammates, then he should be on the next plane home
12% - 214 votes
The only ones at fault here are Cricket SA, who have sabotaged another Proteas World Cup
51% - 904 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.97
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.59
-0.6%
Rand - Euro
17.37
-0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.23
-0.8%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.3%
Gold
1,787.47
-0.3%
Silver
23.96
-0.8%
Palladium
1,993.50
-0.8%
Platinum
1,020.50
-1.0%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,797
-0.3%
All Share
67,494
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,048
-0.4%
Industrial 25
87,148
-0.2%
Financial 15
14,043
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE