SOUTH Africa yesterday saw another jump in coronavirus cases — with 116 now confirmed as the country introduces new measures to shut its borders and schools across the country.
The numbers are still rising sharply from one case a fortnight ago.
Most of those with the virus brought it back from abroad — from the UK in particular.
But 14 cases of local transmission have now been confirmed, putting pressure on the authorities to try to halt its spread.
All schools in South Africa were closed from yesterday. Foreigners travelling from badly affected countries are also barred from entry as of now.
More than 1 700 people were yesterday stranded on a cruise liner and a cargo ship off the coast of Cape Town over fears that some of them are infected with coronavirus.
Concerns were raised by the port authorities after a member of the cargo ship’s crew, who had flown in from Turkey on March 9, began to show symptoms of the virus.
He has been isolated on board the MV Corona along with another crew member he was with on the flight from Turkey
Contact tracing has revealed that six other people on that flight went on to board the luxury cruise liner Aidamira.
It set sail the next day, visiting Lüderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia before recently returning to Cape Town.
The vessels are carrying mainly German and Austrian nationals.
Health authorities are now awaiting the results for the seven people traced to the MV Corona crew member who is ill. They have all been tested for the virus.
“We are prioritising the testing,” health ministry spokesperson Popo Maja told the media.
However, the country is now beginning to report cases of local transmission.
Meanwhile, Zambia has confirmed its first two cases of Covid-19, involving a couple who had travelled to France, the health minister said last night.
They had gone on holiday for 10 days with their two children and were told to self-isolate on their return home on Sunday, Chitalu Chilufya said.
None of them had shown any signs of being ill, but they were tested for coronavirus as they had come from a high-risk country.
“We have isolated all the four at our facility (in Chilanga). We have highly trained personnel that are managing them,” Chilufya said.
“We believe they will be due for discharge in the next couple of days,” he said. — BBC