The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, will address the country at 18H00 on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some people feel that this should have been done long ago as the South African positive count rises above the 50 mark. “The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has tested 1476 for SARS-CoV-2 – the causative pathogen for COVID-19. As of 15 March 2020, there have been 13 newly imported COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 51.” States the NCID on their website.
The NCID also plays down the possibility that the virus is circulating in the general public. “While we continue to see an increase in COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa, there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is circulating in South Africa’s population; however, the status of COVID-19 transmission is increasingly likely to shift based on trends found in other parts of the world. We call on all South Africans to continue to follow COVID-19 preventive measures such as meticulous hand hygiene and cough etiquette.”
This is despite the fact that the infected people could have been in contact with a number of people before being diagnosed with the disease.
This should however not spark widespread panic as people are constantly reminded of the preventative measures that can be taken to minimise the risk of infection.
On the 13th of March, NCID wrote “There has been an increase in the number of imported COVID-19 cases in South Africa since the first confirmed case. The identification of additional imported cases of COVID-19 is not unexpected and is likely related to increasing numbers of cases in other parts of the world, leading to increased importation risks.”
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) continues to receive samples of COVID-19 suspected cases and has been following up on all possible leads to track down COVID-19 cases reported in the country.