Premier Sihle Zikalala says the KwaZulu-Natal man who first contracted the COVID-19 virus in South Africa is ready to go home.
Zikalala said the first patient to have contracted the coronavirus was recovering well. The KZN Premier made the claim while addressing a Provincial Executive Council media briefing in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
COVID-19 patient zero cleared to return home
“We can say with no doubt that patient zero, the one who was the first to contract the virus, is recovering and is ready to be discharged,” the Premier said.
Zikalala revealed that more than 30 per cent of people confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus have been released into the wider community. It is unclear at this stage what the data the Premier was operating on.
“More than 30% of the people who have been infected are now free, back into their communities, in the world,” Zikalala said.
Still a mystery man
Patient zero has only been identified as a 38-year-old man from the KZN midlands who recently travelled to Italy with his wife. The wider public have been allowed only limited access to information on the infected.
It is believed that patient zero’s children attend Cowan House school in the KZN Midlands. The school was shut down as a precautionary measure.
The Hilton man whose trip to Italy was one he will never forget for all the wrong reasons, has been in isolation at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough,” KZN Health MEC Zweli Mkhize said at the time.
“The practise nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab. The patient has been self-isolating since 3 March. 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. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.”
As of 18 March 2020, South Africa has confirmed 116 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.