Covid virus close up

Coronavirus: SA's 'Patient Zero', his wife and 3 others sent home

Four people have recovered and now test negative for Covid-19

Coronavirus: SA's 'Patient Zero', his wife and 3 others sent home

23 March 2020

South Africa's "Patient Zero" – the first person to test positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) – and three others have now tested negative and have been sent home.

A fifth person, the wife of "Patient Zero", was also sent home because she was asymptomatic.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu announced this to members of the media at the Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel on Monday, where the government met with religious organisations.

"He ('Patient Zero') is out of the hospital and is free of the virus.

"He has no symptoms anymore and he has tested negative on two different occasions."

Simelane-Zulu added that two patients in Addington Hospital were released on Saturday.

"They were tested twice, and on both occasions, tested negative. The wife of patient zero has also gone home."

She said that while the wife was not part of those who officially tested negative, she was sent home because she was asymptomatic.

Simelane-Zulu added that a patient at a private facility was also discharged.

"He also no longer has symptoms…once the virus is picked up, there is hope and people can be treated."

On 5 March, South Africa confirmed its first case – that of a 38-year-old Hilton man who had gone on holiday to Italy with his wife and eight friends.

The man, his wife and their two children were isolated at home before he was transferred to Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

At the time of publication, South Africa had 402 cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make an announcement on Monday night on strict government measures to curb the spread of the virus.