KwaZulu-Natal MEC Sihle Zikalala has confirmed that patient zero is ready to be discharged.
Speaking at the Provincial Executive Council media briefing in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, Zikalala said the first patient to have contracted the coronavirus was recovering well.
“We can say with no doubt that patient zero, the one who was the first to contract the virus, is recovering and is ready to be discharged. More than 30% of the people who have been infected are now free, back into their communities, in the world.”
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) March 18, 2020
The first coronavirus case in the country was confirmed on 5 March, with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize only identifying the patient as a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife.
Mkhize said at the time: “The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practise nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab. The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children.
“The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.”
At the time, Mkhize said he was responding well to medication and had been asymptomatic.
On Wednesday, the country was standing at 116 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with three new cases found in KwaZulu-Natal.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)