The South African Department of Health has confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive.
“This morning, Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” said the department.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife.”
“They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020,” it said.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat, and a cough.”
“The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab. The patient has been self-isolating since March 3.”
The COVID-19 coronavirus has made headlines in recent weeks after multiple international events – including Mobile World Congress 2020 – were cancelled due to the risk of infection.
Vodacom has also warned its suppliers that they must comply with its stringent coronavirus mitigations to prevent contamination from spreading to the company’s employees.
In a mail sent out earlier this month that was seen by MyBroadband, the company laid out requirements for all of its suppliers and third-party staff – and blocked them from accessing its properties until they comply with these precautions.
It said that all suppliers should execute a number of steps “with immediate effect”, including:
- All suppliers who have travelled to China or been exposed to sources of coronavirus must be placed under observation and isolation for at least 14 days.
- All suppliers must provide a list of staff who have been placed under quarantine to Vodacom.
The mobile operator added that it has set up a dedicated team to monitor the coronavirus threat and had dispensed advice in line with global standards.