On Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases 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 practise 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.
A press briefing will be held later this evening to shed more light on this issue.
To read the full statement from the Department of Health, click here.