Health Ministry confirms an additional eight imported cases of COVID-19

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There has been an increase in the number of imported COVID-19 cases in South Africa since the first confirmed case. The identification of additional imported cases of COVID-19 is not unexpected and is likely related to increasing numbers of cases in other parts of the world, leading to increased importation risks.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, as from 13 March 2020, can confirm eight additional new imported COVID-19 cases that have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 ­– the causative pathogen for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 24 in four provinces across the country, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

The new COVID-19 cases comprise of – in Gauteng Province – a 39-year-old woman who travelled to Switzerland and Austria, a 50-year-old man who travelled to Austria, a 21-year-old woman who travelled to Italy and a 57-year-old man who travelled to Switzerland. In KwaZulu-Natal Province, a 79-year-old man reported having travelled to Greece and Italy and a 52-year-old man travelled to Switzerland. The two cases from the Western Cape Province comprise of a 46-year-old man who travelled to Italy and a 50-year-old man who travelled to Switzerland and Austria. The 8 patients have since been isolated and are receiving care. Furthermore, contact tracing is underway.

The total provincial break down of COVID-19 cases to date is as follows:

  • KwaZulu-Natal: 10
  • Gauteng: 10
  • Western Cape: 3
  • Mpumalanga: 1

These new COVID-19 confirmed cases are not linked to the original group of 10 people who returned from Italy. There is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is widely circulating in the community in South Africa. However, based on the experience in other parts of the world it is highly likely that the status of COVID-19 transmission will change.

Read the full statement here.

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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