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Tests after death confirm ailing man in Limpopo had Covid-19

26 April 2020 - 16:22 By Naledi Shange
A swab taken from the lifeless body of a Sekhukhune man revealed he was positive for Covid-19. Stock photo.
A swab taken from the lifeless body of a Sekhukhune man revealed he was positive for Covid-19. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

Limpopo's health department said tests have confirmed that a man who died at a private medical practice was Covid-19 positive but did not appear to have known he had the virus.

“Unfortunately he has demised and was diagnosed through post-mortem results,” the department said in a statement on Sunday.

The province has 30 Covid-19 infections but this one, which ended in death, was the first to be recorded in the Sekhukhune region.

“The deceased is a 55-year-old male who worked in Cape Town as both a freelancer in the film industry and a traditional healer,” the department said.

“Both his responsibilities and the area he was operating at made him to be a risk candidate. He is believed to have fallen ill while in Cape Town and his son chose to drive him back to the province where he arrived on the 15th of April 2020 to consult both his prophet and traditional healer.”

It was not immediately clear how the two travelled under the lockdown.

On April 20 the man's health deteriorated, prompting his family to seek medical intervention.

“The family took him to one of the private practitioners in the area where he was declared dead on arrival after spending less than 30 minutes in the practice.”

A swab was taken after his death, later confirming he was positive for Covid-19.

The health department said it was taking swabs and checking every “suspicious” fatality.

The surgery where the man died is being disinfected.

Tracer teams were dispatched to locate all of his contacts for testing.

“The challenges faced by the team is poor co-operation by his son who is our only hope to trace all the contacts.

“The doctor and his five staff members have been tested and are now in quarantine. The surgery has since been closed,” said the department.