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Strict measures taken to screen coronavirus - Health ministry

NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
Strict measures taken to screen coronavirus at the points of entry PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
The Ministry of Health and Wellness chief public relations officer, Doreen Motshegwa says the ministry continues its strict measures of screening the coronavirus at different international points of entry across the country.

This comes after South Africa confirmed its first case of the virus earlier today. According to the statement from the Ministry of Health in South Africa, a 38-year-old male, who travelled to Italy with his wife suspected having contracted the virus, tested positive. It stated that the couple was part of a group of 10 people that arrived in South Africa on March 1, 2020.

“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, 2020.”

“The couple also has two children. The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well,” Dr Zweli Mkhize from SA Ministry of Health stated. 

Motshegwa said the ministry continues its intensified preparedness measures including surveillance, alertness at district level and points of entry. In case they come across individuals with

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signs of the virus, she said they would take the patients to an isolation facility where they would be given medical assistance. She added that the ministry continues to monitor the situation closely in consultation with the World Health Organisation.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that we contain the virus, if at all we come across a patient with the virus. I believe that we are ready and have strict measures to contain the virus if at all we come across an infected patient,” she confidently said. 

Earlier, the ministry had announced five suspected coronavirus cases, all of which involved people who returned either from China or countries where the virus had been detected.  All five were cleared of any detection of the virus after being declared to have tested negative.

The ministry continues to screen all arrivals for the virus and advises postponement of unnecessary travel to affected countries. Batswana and visitors to the country are urged to observe preventative measures such as diligent hand washing, covering of the mouth when coughing and sneezing, and proper disposal of waste.



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