- 31 of South Africa's coronavirus patients have recovered
- This is good news as the fight against the virus continues
- The elderly and those with underlying health issues are the most at risk of the virus
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has revealed that 31 people have recovered from the coronavirus in South Africa.
These small battles have been won but the war against the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. South Africa instituted a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.
There has only been one coronavirus related death in the country so far, there was some confusion as the department had made an error and announced two deaths on Friday.
Briefly.co.za learned that Mkhize said that 4 people are in intensive care, 3 of them on ventilators. 1 of the people in the ICU, an 81-year-old woman, was thought to have had pneumonia but when she was tested, they found that she had the coronoavirus. She had contracted the virus in her old-age home.
55 hospitals have been designated as sites that will be used to fight the virus, the hospitals include public and private facilities. The known cases have had their recent contacts tracked down, so far 3465 of 4400 have been found.
The disease is particularly dangerous to people with underlying health conditions, Mkhize warned South Africans according to IOL.
“We, therefore, urge our citizens to be vigilant, protect themselves and not unnecessarily expose themselves by making contact with a lot of people.
“It is important to remain in your home, create a distance between yourself and anyone, including family members, that are unwell,” said the minister.
Mkhize said HIV positive people with a low CD4 count were vulnerable, along with people with chronic lung diseases including tuberculosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, chronic kidney disease and diabetes.
Mkhize said smokers and "dependent alcohol consumers" were also at risk.
“We encourage smokers to quit smoking and for those who drink alcohol, to do so moderately,” he said.
The elderly a very susceptible to the disease and are the demographic most at risk from the virus.
Initially, most of the case was from people who had travelled to Europe and brought the disease back with them, however, there has been an increase in the number of internal transmissions of the virus inside South Africa.
"Patients without a history of travelling abroad have been detected in many provinces. The Free State province is such an example. The majority of the 61 patients infected arose from the church conference which had five international visitors who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
“Amongst these, were various local church leaders who have since tested positive for Covid-19, thus making their own church members direct contacts. These church members have had to be screened and tested. The church leaders and members who were tested have since been put in quarantine.
“It must be noted that these confirmed cases in the Free State province are concentrated in Mangaung and this requires dedicated focus of interventions.
“All the above factors have emphasised the need to rapidly expand testing, early detection and early treatment. We are intensifying the offensive,” said Mkhize.
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