By Temitope Akintoye,
The South African Government has confirmed presence of its first case of the deadly coronavirus infection in the country, stating that the index case was a South African with history of travel to Italy.
It would be recalled that Italy has been badly hit by the novel virus infection, having reported over 1000 infections and consequently being on flight watchlist of other countries in a bid to curb possible spread of the pandemic within their borders.
The South African Health Ministry reported that the index case was a 38 year old who had travelled to Italy with his wife and returned to the country on March 1, 2020.
Speaking on Thursday to newsmen in the country, ministry officials confirmed that the suspected COVID-19 case had tested positive for the infection after he had presented to a doctor over symptoms of coughing, headaches and fever.
They said that the patient, who was from the eastern province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, had immediately placed himself under self quarantine, as had the responding doctor in a bid to curb possible spread of the infection to their loved ones.
The ministry assured South Africans that the situation was under control, adding that the government was ready to trace and find the ten persons who had arrived the country from Italy together with the patient, and that measures were being taken to ensure safety of citizens and residents in the country.
“We call for calm and urge all South Africans to shun panic, the situation is under control. Tracer teams have been sent to find and quarantine all who came into the country with the patient or had contact with him,”
“They have also been deployed to the province together with epidemiologists and clinicians to further investigate the circumstances of the infection”.
The ministry made assurances to update the public with more information soon.