Government confirms 85 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa

The Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, has announced that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa has increased by 23.

There are now 85 cases of the Coronavirus which has been declared a national disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Globally, there are now 184 976 confirmed cases if COVID-19, and 7 529 deaths. The virus has spread to 159 countries/territories.

Among the new cases in the country is a 2-year-old boy from the Western Cape who has not travelled internationally. This is the youngest confirmed case.

“It is notable that there are eight cases of local transmission,” said the Minister in a statement.

There are 14 new cases in Gauteng:

-A 45 year-old male who had travelled to Belgium, UK, France and the US

-A 37 year-old male who had travelled to the UK

-A 54 year-old female who had travelled to the USA

-A 52 year-old male who had travelled to the UK

-A 25 year-old male who travelled to the UK

-A 52 year-old female who had travelled to Italy

-A 59 year-old male who travelled to the UK and Dubai

-A 57 year-old male who travelled to the USA

-A 60 year-old male who travelled to the USA

-A 37 year-old female who travelled to Italy and Dubai

-A 21 year-old female with no travel history

-A 34 year-old male with no international travel history

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-A 26 year-old female with no international travel history

-A 32 year-old female with no international travel history

There are four new cases in KwaZulu-Natal:

-A 48 year-old male who travelled to Dubai

-A 59 year-old female with no international travel history

-A 5 year-old male with no international travel history

-A 3 year-old male with no international travel history

There are five new cases in the Western Cape:

-A 3 year-old male who travelled to the UK

-A 58 year-old male who travelled to the UK and Austria

-A 2 year-old male with no international travel

-A 62 year-old female who travelled to the UK and Ethiopia

-A 71 year-old female who travelled to the UK

The Minister said there was a debate with clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists on when government must release results to the public.

“These experts raised an issue of an ethical obligation to immediately alert patients as soon as the results become available.

“This therefore means that by the time a confirmation test is conducted in public laboratories, patients would have been notified of their initial results. This clarification is important because as government, we had announced to the public that all positive results will be verified through our public laboratories and the NICD,” explained the Minister.