The wife of South Africa’s first confirmed Coronavirus patient has tested positive for the virus, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday.
“This morning we received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of ten. I now wish to advise the public that she tested positive for COVID-19 and is, therefore, the third confirmed case in South Africa,” said the Minister in a statement.
The woman’s husband, a 38-year-old from KwaZulu-Natal tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
The department of health said the Minister has traced all ten individuals who travelled to Italy. Nine of them had returned to South African soil while the tenth had not.
Meanwhile, the department is expecting the test results of the other six patients, following the positive test outcomes of the other three.
“We expect the results of the other six group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours. It is important to advise the public that the couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative,” said the Minister.
However as part of precautionary measures, the children will remain 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. This is an effort to curb the risk of spread to other children and teachers.”
Mkhize who earlier in the day spoke to the first confirmed patient said that the man was in a jovial and upbeat mood.
The Minister also took the opportunity to speak to the unnamed man’s doctor.
“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,” said the Minister.
On Saturday the Minister confirmed South Africa’s second case of the Coronavirus while also calling for calm.
A 39-year-old Gauteng woman tested positive for COVID-19.
The woman is direct contact of the unnamed 38-year-old man.