Coronavirus Update: South Africa reports first confirmed case

Nigerian Airports officials screening visitors coming into the country for Coronavirus. [Twitter/@MansurIB007]
  • Another African country has reported a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.
  • A 38-year-old man in South Africa has tested positive for the virus, officially known as COVID-19.
  • There are now over 10 positive cases across the continent.

South Africa has joined the growing number of African countries dealing with the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, an unnamed patient has tested positive for the virus.

“This morning,… the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” Mkhize said in a statement.

The virus was detected in a 38-year-old man in the country’s eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province. The patient and his wife were part of a group of 10 people who travelled to Italy.

After they returned on Sunday, March 1, 2020, the unnamed patient started self-isolating after he had a fever, headache, sore throat and a cough.

Since testing positive for the virus, the health minister added that a tracer team has been sent to South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province along with epidemiologists and clinicians from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

This is the first case in southern Africa and the third in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Senegal.

Since popping up in mainland China, there have been 96,000 confirmed cases and over 3,300 deaths.


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