South Africa has confirmed its first case of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), becoming the 7th country to have confirmed a case of the disease in Africa.
The index case was announced by Zweli Mkhize, the country’s Minister of Health, in a statement on Thursday.
Mkhize said the case was detected in the country’s eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
According to the statement, the patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled with his wife to Italy — the country with the most severe outbreak of the disease in Europe with 3,089 cases and 107 deaths.
The couple was said to have returned to South Africa on March 1, and two days later, the patient consulted a private doctor with symptoms of fever, headache, sore throat, and cough.
“This morning,… the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” Mkhize said.
He added that the patient and the doctor have been in isolation since Tuesday.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China in December 2019, more than 90,000 people have been infected with the disease around the world and with over 3000 deaths recorded globally.
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