Wife of patient zero tests positive: What we know
According to Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, the wife of patient zero has also tested positive for coronavirus.
South Africa recorded its first case on Thursday 5 March when a 38-yer-old male from Hilton, a suburb located north of Durban, showed symptoms of the virus.
It was discovered that he and his wife (the latest COVID-19 patient) were part of a group of 10 travellers who arrived from Italy, at the OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday 1 March.
As it is known, Italy is one of the few countries in Europe that has been gripped with increasing coronavirus infections.
Screening tests done at OR Tambo did not pick up the coronavirus on all 10 travellers.
While others took connecting flights to other parts of the country, patient zero and his wife returned to their life in Hilton.
However, two days later, the 38-year-old male rushed to the clinic when he displayed symptoms of the virus.
A nearby clinic ran tests on the patient but because it takes a number of days to obtain the results, the man was sent home, where he has since been recovering in isolation.
Waiting game: Results of six others expected in 48 hours
Mkhize indicated, in the statement, that the patient’s wife, their two children, and eight other travellers were tracked down, isolated and tested. The 10th traveller, the minister said, may have not returned to South Africa as he can’t be traced.
Only the results of the wife and children have come in and while the result was ‘negative’ for the children, the wife was not so lucky.
“This morning we have received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of 10. I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is, therefore, the third confirmed case in South Africa,” Mkhize revealed.
The minister further stated that the results of the others will trickle in within the next 48 hours.
The children, although they’ve tested negative for coronavirus, have been kept “in self-quarantine until their parents have tested negative.”
“At that point, they will also be tested to ensure that they remain negative. Until then they will be regarded as potentially infected. This means they will continue not to attend school,” the statement read.
First coronavirus case update: Patient zero is ‘asymptomatic’
Patient zero, on a lighter note, has shown great improvement in recovering from the infection.
He has been treating the virus in self-isolation since Thursday and his most updated condition was said to be ‘asymptomatic’.
“This morning, I had an opportunity to speak to the first confirmed patient. He was upbeat and jovial. I also spoke to the doctor who is treating him. She confirmed that this patient is responding well and is now asymptomatic. At the right time, as determined by the treating doctors, the patient will be retested to check his recovery progress,” the minister said.