South Africa has confirmed its first coronavirus case after a 38-year-old national tested positive.
The national had recently just returned with his wife from Italy.
South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, confirmed the case. He said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that “a suspected case of Covid-19 has tested positive.”
Mr Mkhize said “the patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were a part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in SA on March 1.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.”
The patient has since been “self-isolating” since he consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, he added.
Mr Mkhize further said, “the tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NCID. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.
“The couple also has two children. The Emergency Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor,” he added.
According to South Africa’s Time Live, “more light will be shed on the case in a media briefing after a slated parliamentary debate$.
South Africa is the fifth African country to confirm a case of coronovirus. Other countries are Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal.
In Egypt, two cases have been confirmed with the first case confirmed on February 14.
Egypt’s health ministry said that both patients are foreign nationals.
Algeria, the second African country to confirm a case, made its first confirmation on February 26. Algeria has recorded the highest number of cases in the continent at 17. Nine new cases were discovered on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s first case was confirmed on Thursday after an Italian national tested positive for the virus.
Tunisia also has one case which was confirmed on March 2 after a Tunisian national returned from his visit to Italy last week.
Senegal confirmed two cases on Wednesday and confirmed two more earlier today.
Officials say there is a total of 27 cases in Africa.
According to the CNN, more than 3,300 people have been killed by the novel coronavirus which has hit more than 80 countries.