This is what we know about SA’s first Covid-19 victim

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This is what we know about SA’s first Covid-19 victim

It is too soon to panic, says health minister as man, his family and doctor go into quarantine

Tamar Khan, Lwandile Bhengu and Orrin Singh

SA has become the seventh country in Africa to confirm a case of the coronavirus that emerged in China late last year and has rapidly spread around the globe, wreaking economic havoc and battering financial markets.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday that a 38-year-old South African man who had travelled to Italy with his wife had contracted Covid-19. Italy is the epicentre of Europe’s outbreak, with more than 3,000 cases and 107 dead, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The rapid spread of the virus within Italy has led to the closure of schools and the cancellation of sporting events, including next week’s Six Nations rugby game with England.

Mkhize said the patient had been part of a party of 10 that travelled to Italy, and had been asymptomatic when he arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on March 1. Two days later he consulted a GP with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and cough. Now his wife and two children are also in self-quarantine, as is the doctor...

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