Fourteen new cases of coronavirus in SA — increasing total to 38

14 March 2020 - 17:01 By Qaanitah Hunter
Health minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo
Health minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo

The department of health has announced that there have been 14 more confirmed cases of coronavirus in SA — taking the number of confirmed cases to 38.

In a statement released on Saturday, health minister Zweli Mkhize said that of the 14 new cases confirmed, 7 cases were in Gauteng, 6 in the Western Cape and 1 in KwaZulu-Natal.

The youngest patient was a 14-year-old girl from the Western Cape who travelled to the US and Dubai.

An airbus A340-600 carrying 146 South Africans coming from Wuhan, China, arrived back on home soil on March 14 2020. The plane arrived at Polokwane international airport where he military-led repatriation mission reached its final stage.

The majority of the confirmed cases involved people who travelled to European countries.

In Gauteng, two men and one female who are among the new confirmed cases had travelled to the UK and the US.

In the Western Cape, a 27-year-old man was confirmed to have the coronavirus after travelling to Brazil.

“The patients have now been informed, all information has been verified and contact tracing is under way,” said Mkhize.

He said that President Cyril Ramaphosa had called for an urgent cabinet meeting on Sunday in light of the rising numbers.

“This meeting will explore ways of intensifying the country’s response to this outbreak,” Mkhize said.

The information regarding the increase in confirmed cases comes as SA citizens who were in the epicentre of the virus in Wuhan, China, were successfully repatriated.

“We are excited that this morning the aircraft from Wuhan landed in Polokwane. All the citizens have now settled in at the Ranch Hotel. Tomorrow we will give an update regarding their arrival. We are prioritising that our people settle in well,” Mkhize said.