Coronavirus cases in SA surge past 50 as 13 more patients confirmed

15 March 2020 - 11:20 By Naledi Shange
A total of 51 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.
A total of 51 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

The number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in SA has increased to 51.

The health department announced an increase of 13 patients on Sunday morning — from  38 cases recorded on Saturday.

The health ministry announced that seven of the new cases were in Gauteng, five in the Western Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

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 13 new patients had all travelled to foreign countries.

In Gauteng, these new cases include:

  • a 60-year-old man who had travelled to Iran;
  • a 36-year-old man who had travelled to the UK;
  • a 54-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland;
  • a 27-year-old man who had travelled to the UK;
  • a 21-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany;
  • a 53-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany; and
  • a 29-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland.

Those new patients who have tested positive in the Western Cape include a 35-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany and Austria, a 42-year-old woman who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland and the UK, a 50-year-old man who had travelled to the Netherlands, a 33-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland and a 35-year-old man who had travelled to Austria.

One new case was reported in KwaZulu-Natal, that of a 34-year-old male who had travelled to the UK.

On Saturday, health minister Zweli Mkhize held an urgent meeting with the National Health Council (NHC), including MECs and HODs for health of the provinces.

“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the latest situational analysis of each province as more Covid-19 cases are being confirmed. In our engagement, it became clear that the role played by contact tracers is very important and their capacity needs to be strengthened,” said the health ministry.

“The NHC agreed that in order to minimise the risk of further spread of the virus, contact tracing must be done within 48 hours.”

As of March 13 2020, the coronavirus had infected more than 130,000 people and killed more than 4,700 worldwide. The symptoms of Covid-19 can be similar to those of the common cold or flu. Symptoms that warrant further testing include shortness of breath, a high persistent fever, and being unable to eat or drink.



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