New coronavirus infections jump to 24 in SA, and there could be more

13 March 2020 - 13:39 By Naledi Shange and Kgaugelo Masweneng

Eight more South Africans have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 24. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on March 13 2020 announced the additional cases. He warned that the number could be higher because a number of positive test results were being verified.

Eight more South Africans have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 24.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the cases are confined to four provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng (with 10 cases each), the Western Cape (three cases) and Mpumalanga (one case).

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Friday announced the additional cases. However, he warned that the number could be higher because a number of positive test results were being verified.

“Yesterday we announced 16 cases, and today we're announcing eight. That makes it 24,” he said.

All the new cases are people who travelled outside the country.

Mkhize added: “With the additional cases which are positive, we will not release the numbers yet until they are verified.”

It was not immediately clear how many additional cases are involved.

The NICD said the new cases were “not linked to the original group of 10 people who returned from Italy”.

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 is widely circulating in the community in SA. However, based on the experience in other parts of the world, it is highly likely that the status of Covid-19 transmission will change,” it said in a statement on its website.

Detailing the eight new cases, the NICD said:

  • In Gauteng, the new Covid-19 cases comprise of a 39-year-old woman who travelled to Switzerland and Austria, a 50-year-old man who travelled to Austria, a 21-year-old woman who travelled to Italy and a 57-year-old man who travelled to Switzerland;
  • In KwaZulu-Natal, a 79-year-old man reported having travelled to Greece and Italy and a 52-year-old man travelled to Switzerland;
  • The two cases from the Western Cape comprise a 46-year-old man who travelled to Italy and a 50-year-old man who travelled to Switzerland and Austria.

“The eight patients have since been isolated and are receiving care,” said the NICD.

On Twitter, the institute said that 924 tests have been done, with 24 coming out positive.


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