Coronavirus cases in South Africa hit 51

South Africa has today confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19, taking the number of coronavirus cases in the Southern African country to 51.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday seven new cases were reported in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and five in the Western Cape.

South Africa’s News24 reported that the persons that have tested had travelled to European countries including Iran, Switzerland, Germany, Netherland and Austria while one had travelled to Iran.

Last night the Minister and Deputy Minister of Health held an urgent National Health Council meeting with all the provincial MECs and HODs for Health. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the latest situational analysis of each province as more Covid-19 cases are being confirmed.

“In our engagement, it became clear that the role played by contact tracers is very important and their capacity needs to be strengthened. The NHC agreed that in order to minimise the risk of further spread of the virus, contact tracing must be done within 48 hours,” Mkhize said.

More than 4,600 people have died and more than 126,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded globally.

In Africa, cases have been reported in 19 countries. According to the BBC, most cases involve people returning from Europe and North America.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned African countries that the window of opportunity to prepare for the coronavirus is closing and critical GAPS REMAIN.

“Every country can still change the course of this country by scaling up their emergency preparedness or response,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa told the BBC.