HEALTH Minister Zweli Mkhize addressed the media outside the controversial Ranch Resort — now identified as the quarantine site for repatriated citizens on Friday 13 March. Mkhize confirmed that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases have now jumped to 24 after an additional eight cases were recorded.
This comes after the total number of cases reached 16 earlier this week. Since that announcement, a student at Wits University and a staff member at Old Mutual were some of those confirmed to be infected.
South Africa’s new coronavirus cases explained
From the 16 confirmed cases that were announced on Thursday, an additional eight cases have been confirmed, pushing the number up to 24. Here are the new cases:
A 39-year-old female who had travelled to Switzerland and Austria;
A 50-year-old male who had travelled to Austria;
A 21-year-old female who had travelled to Italy;
A 57-year-old male who has travelled to Switzerland.
A 79-year-old male who had travelled to Greece and Italy;
A 52-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland.
A 50-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland and Austria;
A 46-year-old male who had travelled to Italy.
Tracing all of their contacts are currently underway.
Total coronavirus cases were initially confirmed at 17, Mkhize later dropped a bomb on Thursday saying that the number was indeed incorrect.
Mkhize said that there had in fact been no local transmission after a Free State man who initially tested positive for the coronavirus, later tested negative. This then brought the number back down to 16.
The government initially said that a 32-year-old male from the Free State came into contact with a Chinese businessman, and then tested positive. This was thought to be the first case of “local transmission” as all the other people who have tested positive for the coronavirus had been travelling abroad.
The coronavirus outbreak was officially declared a global pandemic by the WHO on Wednesday 11 March.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. 81 countries have not reported any COVID-19 cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less. We cannot say this
suffering and death,” he added.
A pandemic is typically characterised by the words “international” and “out of control”.
In the most classical sense, once an epidemic spreads to multiple countries or regions of the world, it is considered a pandemic. However, some epidemiologists classify a situation as a pandemic only once the disease is sustained in some of the newly affected regions through local transmission.