World, Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus cases in South Africa climb to 24

South Africa is in process of evacuating over 100 citizens from China this week

Hassan Isilow   | 13.03.2020
Coronavirus cases in South Africa climb to 24 South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize uses his elbow to greet a health offical as coronavirus continues to spread in the country

JOHANNESBURG 

South Africa’s Health Ministry on Friday announced the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country has climbed to 24.

In a statement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said eight new cases of the virus, officially known as COVID-19, had been recorded on Friday.

The new cases included a 21-year-old female, who returned from a trip to Italy, and a 57-year-old male, who had travelled to Switzerland.

Other patients had travelled from Austria and Greece among other countries hit by COVID-19.

South Africa has so far conducted nearly 900 tests, according to a statement by the government-run National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

No deaths from the virus have been reported in South Africa so far.

The South African government is expected to repatriate this week over 100 citizens who have been living in China.

They will be in quarantine at a facility in the Northern Province of Limpopo upon arrival on the weekend.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 123 countries and territories.

The global death toll is now nearly 5,000, with more than 132,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a “global pandemic.”

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