Confirmed coronavirus cases in SA rise to 24

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Eight more cases of the COVID-19 infection have been recorded in South Africa, bringing the total to 24. Of the new cases Gauteng registered four, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape each registering two more cases.

They range between the ages of 21 and 79 years old.

All new patients had travelled overseas to countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Italy.

More than 128,000 people have been diagnosed in 118 countries across the globe, with at least 4,600 deaths.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, addressing the media in Limpopo, has said all persons who came into contact with the new patients are being traced.

“The patients have now been informed and their contacts are being traced at this moment. The doctors are managing the patients and we will give you more details if there’s any new developments at this point,” says Mkhize.

A total of 122  South Africans will be repatriated from Wuhan, China to the Ranch Hotel and Resort in Polokwane where there will be under quarantine for 21 days.

Earlier on Friday, Wits University cancelled some medical school classes after it was found that a student came into contact with a person who has coronavirus.

The student has since been quarantined and the university says the student has not displayed any symptoms of the virus.

Wits University Spokesperson, Shirona Patel says, “The student has been screened and the test results are expected later today. However, as a precautionary measure, the faculty has cancelled the clinical activities scheduled for students’ class today. The university will keep staff, students and others updated as soon as we have further information. All other university activities continue as normal.”

Infographic of confirmed cases in South Africa:

Repatriation of South Africans 

The Health minister says the South Africans who will be repatriated from Wuhan are not sick.

“The idea of getting them to come back to South Africa had nothing to do with concerns about the health system in China, nothing to do with the fact that they have been sick or anything like that.It was really on a humanitarian basis.”

Below is the photo gallery the team responsible for bringing back South Africans from China:

Mkhize says there are three phases to the repatriation of the South Africans from Wuhan.

“The first one being that evacuation which means getting the aircraft, getting a crew that must go into Wuhan, get the South Africans and bring them back. The second one was the quarantine, which was about ensuring that we could observe them for the 14 days to see whether any of those South Africans could have by any chance got an infection and therefore, we would subject (them) to tests and so on. The third one is the reintegration in society. This one basically means that we would have been able to confirm that the individuals are free of the infections and are free to join their families. ”

In the video below, Zweli Mkhize speaks about the repatriation route: