Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Jump To 85 In South Africa {Full Text}

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:

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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 6 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 public 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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