Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed South Africa’s first suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive.

Mkhize released a statement on Thursday confirming that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed a positive test.

“The patient is a 38-year-old male who traveled 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,” Mkhize said in the statement.

“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat, and a cough.”

The practice nurse then 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.”

Mkhize said the doctor has been self-isolated as well.

“This media briefing is to ensure that the public is immediately kept abreast. A press briefing will be held later after the Parliamentary debate this evening to shed more light on this issue.”

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