Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize on Sunday confirmed an additional 13 cases from Saturday’s number of 38, bringing the total to 51.
There have been no related deaths as yet and only four provinces have thus far been affected.
In view of the rising numbers, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an urgent cabinet meeting to be held on Sunday. A possible travel ban is being mulled by government.
Mkhize said the breakdown of new cases was as follows:
⁃A 60-year-old male who had travelled to Iran.
⁃A 36-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
⁃A 54-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
⁃A 27-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
⁃A 21-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
⁃A 53-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
⁃A 29-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
WESTERN CAPE: 5
⁃A 35-year-old female who had travelled to Germany and Austria
⁃A 42-year-old female who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland and the UK
⁃A 50-year-old male who had travelled to the Netherlands
⁃A 33-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
⁃A 35-year-old male who had travelled to Austria
⁃A 34-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
“Last night the Minister and Deputy Minister of Health held an urgent National Health Council meeting with all the Provincial MECs and HODs for Health. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the latest situational analysis of each province as more cases Covid-19 cases are being confirmed.
“In our engagement, it became clear that the role played by contact tracers is very important and their capacity needs to be strengthened. The NHC agreed that in order to minimise the risk of further spread of the virus, contact tracing must be done within 48 hours.”
The breakdown per province of total infections is as follows:
WESTERN CAPE: 14
“At this stage, all cases were due to travel and no local transmissions have been confirmed,” the ministry of health has confirmed.
|”The patients have now been informed, all information has been verified and contact tracing is under way.”
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 14, 2020
The Sunday Times has reported that at least four of the expatriates trapped in Wuhan, China, had to be denied access to the flight from China to Polokwane after it was determined that they had temperatures outside of the normal range.
A fever is often associated with Covid-19 infection, and they were deemed too “high risk” for repatriation.
It had initially been reported that the SA National Defence Force would be bringing 122 South Africans home, but only 114 ended up making the flight, according to information received on Saturday.
The group has been put into precautionary quarantine at the Protea Ranch Hotel near Polokwane, and are under lockdown by the SAPS and the military. None of them is thought to be infected but they will be observed for at least three weeks before being given the all-clear.
They arrived on Saturday morning. A member of the rescue team was quoted as saying it had been “terrible to leave them [the four] behind but there was nothing we could do”.