First coronavirus case reported in SA; 38-year-old man who travelled to Italy

By Renee Bonorchis

(Bloomberg) – The first coronavirus case in South Africa has been reported after a 38-year-old man who travelled to Italy tested positive, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

It has taken more than two months for the virus to reach South African from mainland China. Globally the number of confirmed cases tops 96,000 with more than 3,300 people having died.

Other African countries with confirmed cases include Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and Morocco. While countries like South Africa have prepared for the arrival of the coronavirus, smaller African economies with poor health care systems may struggle to contain the outbreak.

The rand extended losses after the announcement, weakening more than 1% against the dollar.

The spread of the new virus can remain “minimal and slow” if the outbreak is fought at the source and countries cooperate, the World Health Organisation’s chief said. The WHO declared the outbreak of coronavirus in China a global health emergency on Jan. 30.

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