sihle zikalala kzn premier lockdown

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Photo: GCIS

COVID-19: SA’s patient zero ‘ready to go home’ – KZN premier [video]

The man who became South Africa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 infection, is free to go home and is well on his way to a full recovery.

sihle zikalala kzn premier lockdown

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Photo: GCIS

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the KwaZulu-Natal man who first contracted the COVID-19 virus in South Africa, is ready to go home.

Zikalala said “patient zero” was recovering well. The premier made the claim while addressing a Provincial Executive Council media briefing in Pietermaritzburg, on Wednesday 18 March.

COVID-19 patient zero cleared to return home

“We can say with no doubt that patient zero, the one who was the first to contract the virus, is recovering and is ready to be discharged,” the premier said.

Zikalala revealed that more than 30% of people confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus globally have been allowed to re-enter society. It is unclear at this stage on what data the premier relied on for this information. 

“More than 30% of the people who have been infected are now free, back into their communities, in the world,” Zikalala said.

Still a mystery man

Patient zero has only been identified as a 38-year-old man from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands who recently travelled to Italy with his wife. The wider public have been allowed only limited access to information on the infected.

It is believed that patient zero’s children attend Cowan House School in the Midlands. The school was shut down as a precautionary measure.

The Hilton man whose trip to Italy was one he will never forget for all the wrong reasons, has been in isolation at Grey’s Hospital, in Pietermaritzburg.

Latest coronavirus updates
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addresses the media during a ministerial meeting on measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Mkhize has been at the centre of efforts to contain the virus in South Africa with ‘patient zero’ turning up in his jurisdiction. Photo: GCIS

“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said at the time.

“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 of 18 March 2020, South Africa has confirmed 116 cases of the coronavirus.