Coronavirus spreads to six provinces as Free State records first cases

19 March 2020 - 16:52 By Naledi Shange
Mediclinic says a person who turned up at its Bloemfontein facility has tested positive for the virus.
Mediclinic says a person who turned up at its Bloemfontein facility has tested positive for the virus.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

The Free State has its first confirmed cases of Covid-19.

This means that there are now confirmed cases in six of the nine provinces: Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State.

At this stage it is unclear exactly how many cases have been reported in the Free State.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the health ministry said: “We also wish to advise South Africans that the Free State province now has its first confirmed cases. The patients are being informed as we speak, some have already been taken into quarantine by the provincial government.

“We will fully disclose the numbers of these cases tomorrow, once all the patients are aware,” said health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

TimesLIVE earlier reported that hospital group Mediclinic had confirmed that one person who had reported to its Bloemfontein facility had tested positive for the virus.

The NICD and President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said there were 150 confirmed Covid-19 cases. This does not include the new Free State cases.

“Mediclinic can confirm that an individual who presented at Mediclinic Bloemfontein tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The patient has not been admitted in any Mediclinic facility,” the company said in a statement.

“The hospital is currently following up with all contacts of this patient, in collaboration with the department of health.”

It said it was following all guidelines to ensure the safety of staff.


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