Coronavirus cases in SA rise to 16

This is an additional three cases from Wednesday.

This handout illustration image obtained February 27, 2020 courtesy of the National Institutes of Health taken with a scanning electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab, SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19, the virus shown was isolated from a patient in the US. Picture: AFP.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has retracted the Free State case, saying that the patient had now tested negatived. There's therefore no first case of local transmission.

JOHANNESBURG – Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Thursday announced that South Africa now has 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an additional three cases from Wednesday.

The new three cases are from the following provinces:


A 38-year-old male from Durban who lives in Turkey and was visiting his family in South Africa has tested positive. He had travelled to the UK and returned to SA on 7 March 2020.


A 27-year-old female from Mpumalanga who had travelled to the United States. She returned to South Africa on 7 March 2020.


A 43-year-old male from Johannesburg who had travelled to New York via Dubai and returned to South Africa on 8 March 2020.

Stock markets are on course for another day of heavy losses as concerns mount over the coronavirus crisis will lock down global economic activity for an extended time.

Meanwhile, government announced an urgent Cabinet meeting on Sunday to discuss the coronavirus and the country’s response to the pandemic.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said the special meeting would discuss how government could try to contain the virus.

“President [Cyril] Ramaphosa will soon update political parties represented in Parliament as well as church leaders on COVID-19. A special Cabinet meeting on COVID-19 is being convened for this Sunday,” Mthembu said.