South Africa’s novel coronavirus toll hits 3

Agence France-Presse
Authorities say all 3 confirmed cases were in a group of 10 people who had traveled to Italy

PREPARE. Customers shop for hand sanitizers at a store following the government announcement of confirmed cases in South Africa of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. Photo by Michele Spatari/AFP

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The wife of South Africa’s first novel coronavirus patient tested positive on Sunday, March 8, becoming the 3rd confirmed case in the country, the health authority said.

All 3 of South Africa’s confirmed cases were in a group of 10 people who had traveled to Italy, the health minister said in a statement.

Italy has seen the most deaths from the COVID-19 disease of any country outside China, where the outbreak that has now killed more than 3,500 people and infected over 105,000 worldwide began in December.

Authorities said they had successfully traced all the individuals who went to Italy, although one of the group was not in South Africa.

The test results of the other 6 group members were expected within 48 hours.

South Africa reported its first case on Thursday. On Sunday the health ministry reported that the patient was now “upbeat and jovial,” and asymptomatic. –