BREAKING: 8 local coronavirus transmissions confirmed as SA tally hits 85

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A man using a scarf to cover his face walks along a downtown street Johannesburg, South Africa.

Johannesburg – South Africa’s total confirmed coronavirus infections jumped to 85 on Tuesday night, with eight of the confirmed 23 new cases being local infections with no recent travel history.

The youngest positive case was that of a 2-year-old in the Western Cape and a 5-year-old in KwaZulu-Natal, where a Richards Bay primary school had been placed under lockdown earlier this week. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the eight local transmissions were confirmed in Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN.

In Gauteng, four people with no recent travel history tested positive, in KZN three locals tested positive and one person tested positive in the Western Cape. “I must inform the public that there was a debate with clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists on when we, as a government, must release results to the public.

“These experts raised an issue of an ethical obligation to immediately alert patients as soon as the results become available. This therefore means that by the time a confirmation test is conducted in public laboratories, patients would have been notified of their initial results. “This clarification is important because as a government, we have announced to the public that all positive results will be verified through our public laboratories and the NICD,” said Mkhize.

Breakdown of the 23 new cases per province:

GAUTENG: 14 new infections

  • A 45-year-old man who had travelled to Belgium, UK , France and the US
  • A 37-year-old man who had travelled to the UK
  • A 54-year-old woman who had travelled to the USA
  • A 52-year-old man who had travelled to the UK
  • A 25-year-old man who travelled to the UK
  • A 52-year-old woman who had travelled to Italy
  • A 59-year-old man who travelled to the UK and Dubai
  • A 57-year-old man who travelled to the USA
  • A 60-year-old man who travelled to the USA
  • A 37-year-old woman who travelled to Italy and Dubai
  • A 21-year-old woman with no travel history
  • A 34-year-old man with no international travel history
  • A 26-year-old woman with no international travel history
  • A 32-year-old woman with no international travel history

WESTERN CAPE: 5 new infections 

  • A 3-year-old male who travelled to the UK
  • A 58-year-old man who travelled to the UK and Austria
  • A 62-year-old woman who travelled to the UK and Ethiopia
  • A 71-year-old woman who travelled to the UK
  • A 2-year-old male with no international travel

KZN: 4 new infections

  • A 48-year-old man who travelled to Dubai
  • A 59-year-old woman with no international travel history
  • A 5-year-old male with no international travel history
  • A 3-year-old male with no international travel history

Worldwide, the number of coronavirus deaths was approaching 8 000 and the number of positive infections confirmed just over 197 000. There have been just over 81 000 recoveries. Mkhize said they would now release results as they came from private laboratories.

“In our efforts to ensure transparency, we have decided to release results as they are submitted by both public and private labs. In instances where our confirmation tests give contrary results, we will inform the public, make reference to that specific result previously announced and give the outcome of the confirmation results.

“Whilst we respect that private laboratories have the capacity to test and on their own issue results, our intention and approach is to ensure that there is credibility in the information and results given to the public,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, Mkhize said the more than 100 citizens who were repatriated from Wuhan at the weekend have all tested negative for the coronavirus.