As of 12 March 2020, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), confirms that 3 new positive cases have been identified. This takes the number of coronavirus positive patients to 16. The new positive cases comprise of a 38-year-old male from Turkey who is visiting his mother in KwaZulu Natal, a 27-year-old female from Mpumalanga who had travelled to the United States of America, and a 43-year-old male from Gauteng who had travelled to Dubai and New York. All the cases identified to date have been in travellers from affected countries. At this time there is no indication that COVID-19 is circulating widely in the community in South Africa.
The identification of additional imported cases of COVID-19 is not unexpected and is likely related to increasing numbers of cases in other parts of the world, leading to increased importation risks. The additional cases were not part of the group of ten people who travelled to Italy. The patients have since been isolated and are receiving care at designated healthcare facilities and all tracing of possible contacts that the patients may have been in contact with are being traced.
The total provincial break down of COVID-19 cases to date is as follows:
- KwaZulu-Natal: 8
- Gauteng: 6
- Western Cape:1