Coronavirus in South Africa
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The number of recorded cases of COVID-19 is 1187. We have to state very clearly that these figures do not reflect a drop in the number of infections. It represents only positive results that have been obtained, reviewed and ready for reporting today.

The provincial breakdown is as follows:


Health Workers Infected: 

A number of reported cases of COVID-19 health care staff operating both in private and public hospitals have been identified with concern. It involves doctors and nurses. It is because health professionals are at the frontline of this struggle. They are not only revealed to their relatives but also to the patients to be treated. 

Some of the reported cases of COVID-19 involving health workers are:

In Limpopo, a medical doctor tested positive after he had travelled abroad for holiday started experiencing symptoms on his return. He immediately decided to quarantine himself. This young doctor remained in quarantine to ensure that he does not transmit the virus to other people. His 14 day quarantine period has ended and we are pleased to report that his results have now been confirmed negative.
In Mpumalanga, a medical doctor who had also travelled for a holiday abroad returned to the Province with symptoms which emerged a few days after he returned. Before then, he had been having interactions with staff and patients. He then tested positive and was quarantined. This led to other health workers who had come into contact with him to be screened, quarantined and tested. A decision was also made for that section of the hospital to be closed in order to disinfect it. This has been completed and it will be reopening during the course of next week.
In Free State, we have received a report that three doctors, a nurse and a neurophysicist have tested positive for COVID-19.
In Gauteng, six medical doctors have been infected in Gauteng.

Such health staff are also in good health with most of them mild to no symptoms. There is only one Free State doctor at the age of 70 who is at ICU. It should be clarified that none of these health professionals was contaminated by the patients they treated. The Ministry of Health has approached family members, friends and other colleagues who screened COVID-19 positive. All individuals known as contacts of these health workers have been quarantined and monitored.

Flu Vaccines 

A very limited stock of flu vaccines has been issued in South Africa. The Ministry of Health has not expected this COVID-19 pandemic when the country (public and private) put its orders. The government is engaged with the pharmaceutical industry and it has become clear that it must be rationalized and prioritized to administer this vaccine. Therefore, we have agreed that in obtaining the flu vaccine, health workers in the country should be given priority. It is exacerbated by the fact that the country can not afford to suffer especially as the influenza season approaches. It is one of the key lessons gained from countries with a COVID-19 pandemic.

Research Trial 

South Africa participates in the World Health Organization’s Public Health Emergency Solidarity Study, a clinical trial that seeks successful treatment for COVID-19. In order to select therapies for inclusion in the study, WHO called for an impartial panel of experts to review findings from laboratory, animal and clinical trials. The following treatment options for inclusion in the study were established by this independent group:

Remdesivir: a drug which was previously used in an Ebola trial
Lopinavir/ritonavir: a licensed treatment for HIV/AIDS
Lopinavir/ritonavir with interferon beta-1a: used for multiple sclerosis
Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine: drugs used to treat malaria and rheumatology conditions respectively

To promote international comparisons of unproven therapies, all participating countries shall follow the same approach. Additionally, Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand have also announced their involvement in the trial. Professors Helen Rees and Jeremy Nel, 30 high-school academicians, researchers and clinicians from 8 national medical schools (WITS, SMU, UP, UCT, Stellenbosch, NMU, UKZN, UFS and SA Military Health Service), head the South African Solidarity study team. They will carry out the study in 14 leading hospitals throughout the world.

Citizens from Wuhan 

His Excellency, President of MC Ramaphosa, gave three weeks ago a visit to Wuhan, to all the brave men and women from the SANDF, SAA pilots and crew, and to the national health services, to bring people to China. They came back to South Africa, as is said, and stayed in The Ranch Hotel in Limpopo. All South Africans were told by the government that all these individuals were negative, had no symptoms, and therefore faced no risks of infection. However, for 14-days of duration, the government took additional precautions and quarantined them. Medical screening and COVID-19 testing were performed on arrival. They were all negative. Such residents completed their second examination in preparation for their departure. The Health Minister would like to thank The Ranch Hotel and all its staff who were eager to help the compatriots, although at that time the pandemic was fabulous in our country. You have done a wonderful job of getting our people back home.

Data Source: South African Government

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