coronavirus south africa first case

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Coronavirus update: First suspected case registered in eSwatini

The person suspected of carrying the coronavirus has been placed in quarantine and blood samples have been taken for further analysis.

coronavirus south africa first case

Image via Adobe Stock

The Health Ministry in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) says the country has registered its first suspected case of the deadly coronavirus, now also know as now known as COVID-19. 

According to SABC News, the case was identified on Friday 14 February in someone who had recently arrived in South Africa from China and entered the Kingdom on 6 February. 

Over 1 500 people have died from the virus in China. There were 42 708 cases, which originated in Wuhan city just outside of China, with 25 other nations confirming a total of 191 cases.

Director of Health Services in eSwatini, Vusi Magagula says the person has been placed in quarantine and blood samples have been taken for further analysis.

“She presented with a fever and was at the hospital then the rapid response team took over and took up the case,” he said. 

“She came through the Ngwenya port of entry on 6 February having arrived from the Republic of South Africa. I don’t think she was presenting with any symptoms, we only picked her up on the 14th because she was already now in hospital, ill and had to be admitted to the isolation ward. So I guess when she passed through OR or even through Ngwenya border post she didn’t have the symptoms,” explained Magagula. 

NICD claims SA is free from coronavirus 

On Friday 14 February, The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that South Africa is still coronavirus free. 

“As of 14 February 2020, the NICD has tested 71 individuals under investigation for COVID-19, and all results have come back negative.” 

According to AFP, The death toll from China’s new coronavirus epidemic, however,  jumped past 1 500 on Saturday but new infections fell following a mid-week surge caused by a change in the way cases are counted.

More than 66 000 people have now been infected in China from a virus that emerged in central Hubei province in December before spreading across the country a month later and causing global panic.

Some 1 700 medical workers have been infected, with six dying from the COVID-19 illness, officials said, underscoring the country’s struggle to contain the deepening health crisis.

Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged that the outbreak exposed “shortcomings” in the country’s health emergency response system.

Chinese authorities have placed some 56 million people in Hubei under quarantine, virtually sealing off the province from the rest of the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus.

Egypt confirms first coronavirus case in Africa 

Egypt’s health ministry on Friday 14 February announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Africa.

The sufferer was not Egyptian, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying the nationality.

“The ministry has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient… who is stable,” said Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed.

Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization (WHO) and the patient had been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital.

Fewer new cases

The National Health Commission reported 143 new deaths on Saturday, with all but four in Hubei, raising the death toll to 1 523.

The commission also reported 2 641 new cases of the COVID-19 strain, with the vast majority in Hubei. The number, however, was almost half those reported the previous day.