The wife of the man who had the first confirmed case of the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa has now also tested positive, the health department confirmed on Sunday.
The couple were part of a group of 10 who had travelled to Italy recently, and along with a woman from Gauteng are the only three confirmed cases in the country so far.
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases said it is still awaiting the test results of others in the group.
“We confirm that we traced all 10 of these individuals. Nine of them had returned to South Africa. The tenth did not and is therefore not in our country,” it said.
“This morning we have received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of ten. I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore the third confirmed case in South Africa.
“We expect the results of the other 6 group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours.”
The department of health said that it is important to advise the public that the couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative.
“However, as part of taking extra precautions, these children will remain in self-quarantine until their parents have tested negative.
“At that point, they will also be tested to ensure that they remain negative. Until then they will be regarded as potentially infected. This means they will continue not attend school. This is in an effort to curb the risk of spread to other children and teachers.”
To-date, there have been over 107,000 infections across the globe, with 3,652 deaths. Over 60,000 have fully recovered, with 42,800 active cases at the moment.