COVID-19 – Confirmed cases in SA at 51 on Sunday

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PRETORIA, March 15 – The total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, as of Sunday, is 51, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

“While we continue to see an increase in COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa, there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is circulating in South Africa’s population,” the NICD said in a statement around midday.

“However, the status of COVID-19 transmission is increasingly likely to shift based on trends found in other parts of the world. We call on all South Africans to continue to follow COVID-19 preventive measures such as meticulous hand hygiene and cough etiquette,” the NICD said.

The institute, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, had tested 1476 people for SARS-CoV-2 ­– the causative pathogen for COVID-19. As of Sunday, there had been 13 newly imported COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 51.

Seven cases were in Gauteng – a 60-year-old man who had travelled to Iran; a 36-year-old man who had travelled to the UK, a 54-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland, a 27-year-old man who had travelled to the UK, a 21-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany, a 53-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany, and a 29-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland.

Five cases had been reported in the Western Cape – a 35-year-old woman who had travelled to Germany and Austria, a 42-year-old woman who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, a 50-year-old man who had travelled to the Netherlands, a 33-year-old man who had travelled to Switzerland, and a 35-year-old man who had travelled to Austria.

Only one new case had been recorded in KwaZulu-Natal – a 34-year-old man who had travelled to the UK, the NICD statement said.

In a separate statement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that he had met the National Health Council with all provincial MECs and HODs for health on Saturday night.

“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the latest situational analysis of each province as more COVID-19 cases are being confirmed. In our engagement, it became clear that the role played by contact tracers is very important and their capacity needs to be strengthened. The NHC agreed that in order to minimise the risk of further spread of the virus contact tracing must be done within 48 hours.”

– African News Agency (ANA)