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CORONAVIRUS: South Africa confirms first case

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South Africa today, Thursday March 5, confirmed its first case of coronavirus, as cases begin to rise in the continent.

According to a statement by the Health Department, a 38-year-old man who returned from an Italy trip with his wife, tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.

“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 took swabs & delivered it to the lab. The patient has been in self-isolation since March 3,” the statement said.

It added that the couple was among 10 people who returned to South Africa from Italy on March 1.

The doctor who attended to the patient was also quarantined, according to the statement.

A team of health experts has now been deployed to the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal where the patient and doctor reside.

South Africa’s parliament is expected today to debate the country’s readiness to deal with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Algeria tops the list of countries with highest coronavirus cases now reported to be 17.  Across the continent, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 27 but, significantly, no fatalities have been recorded so far.

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