LATEST CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19
17 March 2020


Fellow South Africans, I wish to announce that as of today, South Africa now has 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 23 from yesterday’s announcement.

The breakdown per province is as follows:

GAUTENG: 14
-A 45 year old male who had travelled to Belgium, UK, France and the US
-A 37 year old male who had travelled to the UK
-A 54 year old female who had travelled to the USA
-A 52 year old male who had travelled to the UK
-A 25 year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 52 year old female who had travelled to Italy
-A 59 year old male who travelled to the UK and Dubai
-A 57 year old male who travelled to the USA

-A 60 year old male who travelled to the USA
-A 37 year old female who travelled to Italy and Dubai
-A 21 year old female with no travel history
-A 34 year old male with no international travel history
-A 26 year old female with no international travel history
-A 32 year old female with no international travel history


KWAZULU-NATAL:4
-A 48 year old male who travelled to Dubai
-A 59 year old female with no international travel history
-A 5 year old male with no international travel history
-A 3year old male with no international travel history

WESTERN CAPE:5
-A 3 year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 58 year old male who travelled to the UK and Austria
-A 2 year old male with no international travel
-A 62 year old female who travelled to the UK and Ethiopia
-A 71 year old female who travelled to the UK

It is notable that there are 8 (eight) cases of local transmission. I must inform the public that there was a debate with clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists on when we, as government must release results to the public. These experts raised an issue of an ethical obligation to immediately alert patients as soon as the results become available.


This therefore means that by the time a confirmation test is conducted in public laboratories, patients would have been notified of their initial results. This clarification
is important because as government, we had announced to the public that all positive results will be verified through our publics laboratories and the NICD. In our efforts to ensure transparency, we have decided to release results as they are submitted by both public and private labs. In instances where our confirmation tests give contrary results, we will inform the public, make reference to that specific result
previously announced and give the outcome of the confirmation results.

Whilst we respect that private laboratories have the capacity to test and on their own issue results, our intention and approach is to ensure that there is credibility in the information and results given to the public. Whilst we appreciate the importance of being transparent with South Africans, we will not do so irresponsibly and not take into account all clinical and any other broader implications of the information we give to you.


TEST RESULTS OF CITIZENS REPATRIATED FROM WUHAN
It gives us great pleasure to also announce to South Africans that all the citizens from Wuhan were tested and their results came back negative for COVID-19.
We continue to keep them in quarantine for the prescribed period and will thereafter initiate the process of reunifying them with the community.
Dr Zwelini Mkhize
Minister of Health
End…

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