SOUTH Africa could be battling to contain the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), amidst indications that the number of confirmed cases in the neighbouring country has risen to 116.
By Michael Gwarisa
Even though South Africa recorded Coronavirus later than Egypt, Algeria and other African countries, the sporadic rise in the Covid-19 cases in the Southern African country makes it the second highest country in Africa by in infection rate after Egypt which has 196 cases.
South Africa Department of Health on Wednesday morning confirmed that 31 new cases were reported 10 hours after the department released a statement late on Tuesday night that the number of confirmed cases of the contagious virus had risen by 23 cases to 85.
In a statement, South Africa Health Minister, Dr Zwelini Mkhize said there was an increase in local transmission in persons without any history of international travel.
We wish to inform all South Africans that as of this morning, 18 March 2020, South Africa now has 116 confirmed cases of Covid-19. This means that there has been an increase of 31 new cases from yesterday’s announcement,” said Dr Mkhize.
The details of the cases include a 15 year old male who travelled to the United Kingdom, a 45 year old male who travelled to Australia, a 52 year old male who travelled to Australia and Italy, a 49 year old male who travelled to Australia and Italy, a 35 year old male who travelled to the UK and Netherlands, a 34 year old female who travelled to the UN, a 30 year old female who travelled to Switzerland and Australia, a 54 year old female who travelled to Portugal and the UK, a 51 year old who travelled to the UK, a 26 year old who travelled to the UK and a 68 year old male with no international travel history.
“Today we have a further increase of six local transmission cases. As part of tracking and tracing, we have collated background information on how these patients were infected.
“We will also provide information to the public so as to to give a sense of how these local transmissions occur. We will however not disclose full details as this information is subject to patient confidentiality which we are bound by.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has closed small corridors linking the country to its neighbours as a means of controlling the spread of the virus into the country. However, there is mounting pressure from citizens and other civil society groups to have the main boarder post linking Zimbabwe and South Africa, Beitbridge closed until the situation nomarlises.