The Government of South Africa has confirmed the country’s first case of Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
Announcing the virus outbreak, Health Minister of South Africa, Dr. Zweli Mkhize said the patient has been checked by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and it turned out to be positive for the virus.
He said: “The patient is a male of 38 who traveled with his wife to Italy. They were part of a 10-person party and arrived in South Africa on 1 March 2020.
On March 3, the patient went to a general practitioner with fever, headache, malaise, sore throat and cough, the minister for Health said. A nurse took a swab, and delivered it to a laboratory.
All those affected by the virus in Africa are mostly people who have just recently returned from Europe.
“In the meantime, two South Africans on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, who tested positive for the disease, have now tested negative, and will soon be returning to South Africa,” the minister said.
After being taken ashore from the cruise ship where they worked, the pair, who initially tested positive for Coronavirus, was hospitalized in Japan.
The Diamond Princess was first quarantined in January after Coronavirus was tested positive on a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong.
South African officials have also acquired an aircraft to evacuate South African nationals in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic that killed over 3,000 people, mostly in mainland China.
“A total of 184 South Africans have stated that they wish to be repatriated,” said the minister.
The rest are said to be students, teachers and other professionals.