South Africa reports first confirmed case

South Africa reports first confirmed case

On Thursday Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that the first South African had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The patient is a 38-year-old man who had recently travelled to Italy with his wife.

They also urge South Africans to reduce the risk of acquiring COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by practicing good hand hygiene: frequent correct hand washing, cough hygiene, staying at home when ill and keeping distance away from sick people with respiratory illness.

The man showed flu-like symptoms and was caught with the ailment when he consulted a medic on March 3.

Mkhize says an emergency team has landed in KwaZulu-Natal.

So far only West Africa in the sub-Saharan Africa region has recorded two cases in Nigeria and Senegal.

The news comes after at least two Amazon employees in Italy - which has seen a surge of coronavirus cases in recent weeks - were confirmed to have the virus as well, according to Bloomberg.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Seattle creeps ominously upward, C.H. Robinson (CHRW) has asked all employees in the local office to work from home. It has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 3,000, mostly in China.

However, Mkhize, addressing lawmakers in parliament, said: "I think we need to be upfront about it ..."

With only a handful of coronavirus cases detected across Africa, governments have had valuable extra time to build up their testing and treatment capabilities, BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding reports.

He added that it was possible South Africa would run out of equipment such as protective clothing.

In his letter, the president informed the National Assembly that it will cost R25 million to assist the Departments of Health and Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) to return the South African citizens back to their county.

"We continue to monitor the situation and take action as necessary to help protect employees".

Seattle-headquartered Amazon recommended employees in the area to work from home through the end of the month, after an employee at its South Lake Union office complex in the city tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

Related Articles