Health department tracks over 100 people amid coronavirus fears

There are six cases in KwaZulu-Natal and one in Gauteng.
The Health Department’s Deputy Director-General Dr Yogan Pillay says they are in the process of locating over 100 people, who have reportedly come into contact with those who were confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus.

Seven coronavirus cases have been confirmed in South Africa, the majority of whom were part of a group of 10 people, who had traveled to Italy.

The number of COVID-19 infections worldwide is now standing at more than 111 000, with about 3 900 deaths.

Pillay says they are working to identify any further possible cases. “It was about 110 people who are so-called contacts of these seven cases and we are working with the provinces and outbreak response team to track and trace them so that we can assess them clinically to see if they are positive.”

“We are in the process of getting in contact with all of them and the good news is that we know who they are because they have been in contact with the seven,” Pillay adds.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has ruled out the possibility of a general lockdown as a precautionary measure in areas where patients of the coronavirus were originally located.

Mkhize announced during a media briefing on Monday that four more people had tested positive for the virus – bringing the total number of confirmed infections to seven.

There are six cases in KwaZulu-Natal and one in Gauteng.

Speaking in an interview with SABC News, Mkhize says a lockdown will only apply if there is proper evidence of the virus spreading, with a large number of people being infected within a specific area.

“I think it’s too early to talk about a lockdown. Wuhan their numbers were very huge that’s why they decided on a lockdown. At the moment you can’t even prove that there’s infection from one person to the other. We keep assessing all these contacts.”

“Let’s assume that you get the first ring of contacts they are all positive you got the next ring of contacts, if you plot that all over the city that means that everywhere there’s infections taking place then you know what you’re talking about.”