- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced four new cases of the coronavirus
- Mpumalanga and the Free State have reported their first infections
- The first locally-transmitted infection has also been noted
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced four new cases of the coronavirus in South Africa. In a statement released to update citizens on the development, the minister confirmed that:
"Today, 12 March 2020, South Africa now has 17 confirmed cases of Covid-19. This is an additional 4 cases from yesterday."
The minister revealed that Mpumalanga and the Free State provinces have both confirmed their first cases since the beginning of the outbreak.
Mkhize also revealed that the first case of local transmission had been reported after a man in the Free State came into contact with a Chinese businessman. The minister assured South Africans that the situation is under control:
"At this stage, all patients are in self-quarantine and have mild to moderate symptoms. They are also on symptomatic treatment. Our tracing teams are now making a list and have started contacting individuals that have been identified as these patients' contacts."
Briefly.co.za reported that the WHO had recently declared the outbreak a pandemic and Mkhize acknowledged this announcement:
"As the South African government, we take note of the announcement by the World Health Organisation Director-General that it has declared Covid-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is a worldwide spread of a new disease."
The breakdown of the new cases is as follows:
- KwaZulu-Natal: 1 new case
"A 38-year-old male from Durban who lives in Turkey and was visiting his family in South Africa has tested positive. He had travelled to the UK and returned to SA on 7 March."
- Mpumalanga: 1 new case
"A 27-year-old female from Mpumalanga who had travelled to the United States. She returned to South African on 7 March."
- Gauteng: 1 new case
"A 43-year-old male from Johannesburg who had travelled to New York via Dubai and returned to South Africa on 8 March."
- Free State: 1 new case
"A 32-year-old male who came into contact with a Chinese businessman. This is the first case of local transmission as all others have been by patients who had travelled abroad."
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