South Africa confirms first coronavirus case

SOUTH Africa has confirmed its first coronavirus case, a 38-year-old male who recently travelled from Italy and arrived in the country on March 1.

In a statement, the South African Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said the male, who travelled with his wife, was with a group of 10 who went to the European country.

“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.

“The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children,” the statement said.

It further stated that: “The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from National Institute of Communicable Diseases. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.”

South Africa becomes the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to confirm COVID-19, as coronavirus is otherwise known, after Nigeria which confirmed a week ago.