The first case of COVID-19 in South Africa has been officially confirmed.

In a statement, the Department of Health said:

“Fellow South Africans, this morning, Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 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 March 1, 2020.

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 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”.

The South African Parliament is busy debating South Africa’s preparedness for COVID-19.

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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].