South Africa reports first case of coronavirus
South Africa’s Ministry of Health has confirmed its first case of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the Ministry, the infected person is a local male who had travelled to Italy with his wife and returned home only to test positive of the virus.
“The National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” the country’s health ministry said.
The South African couple, who have two children, were part of a group of 10 who returned from Italy on March 1, Health Minister said.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.” Reported the Health Ministry.
There are concerns that in South Africa, alleged home to the world’s largest HIV epidemic, the immune systems of millions of people have already been weakened, leaving them, potentially, more vulnerable to this new virus.
The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that the death rate for the coronavirus increased to 3.4%.
With deaths surpassing 3,000 and confirmed cases over 80,000, China remains by far the worst-hit country overall, and leader Xi Jinping on Thursday cancelled a planned state visit to Japan.
But the epidemic is now slowing in China, while other countries are seeing outbreaks grow rapidly.