The first case of coronavirus in South Africa has been confirmed.

On Thursday, the country’s Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize disclosed in a statement that a 38-year-old man tested positive for the (COVID-19) virus in KwaZulu-Natal after visiting Italy with his wife.

He said the man returned home on 1 March and was isolated due to the symptoms he was showing when he went for check up.

His statement read: “This morning, Thursday 5 March, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that a suspected case of coronavirus has tested positive. The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March 2020.

“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March, 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 3 March. The couple also has two children.

“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 NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well, as she may have picked up coronavirus too.”


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