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Mkhize: SA coronavirus case not a sign of government failure

The Health Minister said no country could prevent COVID-19 from entering its shores and his department had done its best to ensure that the virus was contained.

From left: KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu speak to the parents of Cowan House Prep and principals in the Mgungundlovu District on 6 March 2020. A parent at the school is the first person in South Africa to be diagnosed with the coronavirus. Picture: @DBE_KZN/Twitter

HILTON - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the arrival of the coronavirus in the country was not a sign of government's failure to protect citizens.

Mkhize said criticism of his department after the country reported its first case of the virus on Thursday was unwarranted and ignorant.

He made the statement while addressing the media in Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal where the first case of the virus has been diagnosed.

Mkhize said no country could prevent COVID-19 from entering its shores.

He said his department had done its best to ensure that the virus was contained.

“We have confirmed just the one case in two months and we are one of the few countries to have done that. Eighty-six countries to date to have this virus but we are among the last ones."

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Mkhize has appealed to the public to join efforts in fighting the virus so that South Africa could be among the countries that would record zero fatalities.

“It is those communities, those parents, those children and health workers, the media and governments officials from all departments and South Africans all over the country that must make sure we defeat this virus."

Mkhize said over 300 people in the country had been tested for the virus so far and only one person had tested positive.

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