Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Sunday morning confirmed the third case of corona virus in South Africa. The third person is the wife of Patient Zero, the Hilton father who was the first person diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in South Africa.

The KwaZulu-Natal couple had returned from a ski trip to Italy last Sunday, 1 March 2020. The second case of coronavirus in South Africa was diagnosed in a fellow traveller who was part of the SA group who went on holiday to Italy – she is a 39-year-old woman from Gauteng, who was in direct contact with Patient Zero.

Patient Zero, a father of two who has not yet been named, is on the road to recovery, and the couple’s children have not been affected by the virus, stressed the Minister.

Dr Mkhizwe said on Sunday: “Fellow South Africans, an announcement was made yesterday confirming the second case of COVID-19 in South Africa. In that statement, we indicated that the second patient is a direct contact of the first.

“We indicated that they were a group of 10 people who had travelled to Italy.We confirm that we traced all 10 of these individuals. Nine of them had returned to South Africa. The tenth did not and is therefore not in SA

“Today results of the direct contact of the 1st case were received, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of 10.The Minister wishes to advise the public that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore the 3rd confirmed case in SA.”

Patients’ children test negative for Coronavirus

The minister said: “We expect the results of the other 6 group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours. It is important to advise the public that the couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative.

“However, as part of taking extra precautions, these children will remain in home isolation until their parents have tested negative.

“At that point, they will also be tested to ensure that they remain negative. Until then they will be regarded as potentially infected. This means they will continue not to attend school. This is in an effort to curb the risk of spread to other children and teachers.

Patient Zero in South Africa “upbeat and jovial”

“This morning, the Minister had an opportunity to speak to the first confirmed patient. He was upbeat and jovial. He also spoke to the doctor who is treating him. She confirmed that this patient is responding well and is now asymptomatic.

“At the right time, as determined by the treating doctors, the patient will be retested to check his recovery progress.

“Later today the Health Department will issue a statement and conduct live interviews to explain to the public the clinical observations and guidelines that are recommended to be followed in instances of asymptomatic patients. These will be based on the WHO guidelines.”

Global Coronavirus cases surpass the 100 000 mark

In a statement on Saturday, the organisation said the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed the 100 000 mark.

“As we mark this sombre moment, the WHO reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities,” it said.

It said China as well as other countries are demonstrating that the spread of the virus can be slowed and impact reduced through the use of universally applicable actions, such as working across society to identify people who are sick, bringing them to care, following up on contacts, preparing hospitals and clinics to manage a surge in patients, and training health workers.

“WHO calls on all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus. Every effort to contain the virus and slow the spread saves lives.”

Such efforts it said, give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines.

“Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.”

“We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the health care system, the work place or the transport system,” it said.

The WHO will continue to work with all countries, partners and expert networks to coordinate the international response, develop guidance, distribute supplies, share knowledge and provide people with the information they need to protect themselves and others. –

WATCH VIDEO: Wife of South Africa’s COVID-19 Patient Zero Tests Positive for Coronavirus