First case of coronavirus detected in SA

05 March 2020 - 14:06 By NIVASHNI NAIR

A 38-year-old SA man, who recently returned from Italy with his wife, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a statement on Thursday, health minister Zweli Mkhize said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of Covid-19 has tested positive.

“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were 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 practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab,” he said.

Mkhize said the patient has been “self-isolating” 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. The doctor has been self-isolated as well,” he said.

A media briefing will be held after the parliamentary debate on Thursday evening to shed more light on this issue.