The Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has corrected his earlier statement about the death of a 28-year-0ld woman with coronavirus. She was tested and it was confirmed this afternoon that she did in fact not test positive for the virus. The death toll now stands at one person, a 48-year-old woman who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23. She was suffering from a pulmonary embolism which means she had an underlying disease.
In a statement, the minister said, “The second patient who died was a suspected case based on her clinical presentation. The clinicians who were treating her have reported to us that this was a 28 year old female who had presented at the hospital in respiratory distress.
“At the time of presentation she was hypoxic. She was intubated and transferred to hospital during the early hours of this morning, (ie 27 March 2020 at 3am). On arrival in ICU, she was declared dead. The clinical picture was suggestive of COVID-19 and therefore a test was conducted. Her laboratory results have since been received at 17:20 and were confirmed negative. Her immediate family was also tested and they are also negative.
“She is therefore no longer considered a COVID-19 case. This therefore means there is only one confirmed death caused by COVID-19 in South Africa.”
According to Mkhize, doctors often make a diagnosis based on a clinical presentation and physical examination of a patient. Following this diagnosis they conduct tests to confirm the initial diagnosis.
“In this instance, doctors and all health workers involved exercised clinical judgment and took extra precaution in managing this patient. We support this approach. I therefore want to acknowledge and appreciate all our doctors, nurses and all the health workers who were treating these patients. We salute them for their dedication in the service of the nation. We urge them to remain courageous and focused,” he said.
He further reassured health workers that the government will do everything to provide support needed for them to do their duties effectively.
South Africa now has 1170 confirmed COVID-19 cases which is an increase of 243 new cases from yesterday’s announcement. The total number of tests conducted to date is 28 537.
1. Total number of patients in hospitals (both public and private) – 55
2. Total number of patients in ICU – 4
3. Total number of patients in ventilation – 3
4. Total number of recoveries – 31
5. Contacts of the patients that have been identified – 4407
6. Contacts of the patients that have been traced – 3465
CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS WE HAVE MADE THAT ARE OF CONCERN: 1
Vulnerable people include:
– HIV Positive people with a low CD4 count: This therefore emphasises the importance everyone to know their status, get tested and immediately start treatment should they test positive
– Chronic Lung Diseases, including TB, Asthma and COPD
– Auto Immune Diseases of Any Kind
– Chronic Kidney Diseases
Other population groups that are vulnerable are:
– Smokers and dependant alcohol consumers. We encourage smokers to quit smoking and for those who drink alcohol, to do so moderately.
– The elderly population in our society is vulnerable.