Following the declaration of a National Disaster for COVID-19 in South Africa by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the National Institute for Communicable (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), continues to enhance outbreak response activities to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Since the commencement of the outbreak, the NICD, the NHLS laboratories and private laboratories have conducted a total of 2 405 tests to date. As of 16 March 2020, the NICD confirms an additional 11 new COVID-19 cases that have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the causative pathogen for COVID-19. This brings the country to a total of 62 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The 11 new cases are distributed in the Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape provinces and comprise of the following:
- A 33-year-old male who travelled to Spain
- A 68 year-old-female who travelled to Austria
- A 30-year-old male who travelled to India
- A 39-year-old male who travelled to the United States of America
- A 43-year-old female who travelled to the United States of America
- A 50-year-old male who travelled to France and the United Kingdom
- A 37-year-old who travelled to the United States of America, Dubai and Mexico
Western Cape Province
- A 39-year-old male who travelled to Canada
- A 15-year-old male who travelled to France
- A 29-year-old male who travelled to France and the Netherlands
- A 55-year-old male who travelled to France
The 11 patients have since been isolated and are receiving care. Furthermore, we wish to mention that there are two cases of local transmission, these are under investigation as we are in the process of conducting confirmation tests and following up on possible contacts that the patients may have come into contact with.