6 more cases of coronavirus confirmed in SA

This comes after six more people tested positive for COVID-19, four of them are in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and one in the Western Cape.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (L) at a press briefing on 7 March 2020 on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in South Africa. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday morning confirmed there were now 13 confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in South Africa.

This comes after six more people tested positive for COVID-19, four of them are in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and one in the Western Cape.

Here's where the six new patients are based:

GAUTENG CASES: 4

A 33-year-old female who had travelled to Italy and returned on the 1 March 2020. A couple, 34-year-old male and a 33-year-old female who had travelled to Germany. They returned to South Africa on the 9 March 2020.

A 57-year-old male who had travelled to Austria and Italy. He returned to South Africa on the 9 March 2020.

KZN CASE: 1

A 40-year-old male who had travelled to Portugal. He returned on the 7 March 2020.

WESTERN CAPE CASE: 1

A 36-year-old male who had travelled to multiple countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. He returned to South Africa on the 9 March 2020.

“All the patients have now been advised. Those who are symptomatic have started receiving treatment. Some of these patients are already in hospital while some, specifically those who are asymptomatic are in self-quarantine. Contact tracing has also started for all these cases,” Mkhize said in a statement.

“It is also noteworthy that to date, 645 tests have been conducted. More information relating to these case will be communicated. We also request that the privacy of the patients and the families continues to be observed by the media and members of the public,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NIDC stated that all the cases identified to date had been in travellers from affected countries.

"At this time there is no indication that COVID-19 is circulating widely in the community in South Africa. To ensure effective response to COVID-19 the NICD has since expanded testing for SARS-CoV-2 to include other public health laboratories in the NHLS and laboratories in the private sector.

"It is important to note that testing of persons who meet the case definition is free of charge at the NICD and testing is conducted 24 hours seven days a week. Active surveillance for COVID-19 among individuals with acute respiratory symptoms will be fast-tracked to understand the spread of COVID-19. If a private laboratory identifies a positive case, samples will be sent to the NICD to verify and confirm the results."