South Africa records first case of coronavirus

South Africa records first case of coronavirus

- South Africa has confirmed the first case of the coronavirus

- According to the country's health minister, the patient is a 38-year-old male who had travelled recently to Italy

- They had formed part of a group of ten people who had arrived back in SA on 1 March

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in South Africa.

In a statement on the matter, Mkhize revealed that the disease had been contracted in Italy:

"The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020."

After feeling ill, the unidentified man had consulted a doctor with a specimen tested for the virus:

"The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab."

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Mkhize further explained that the Emergency Operating Centre is currently investigating:

"The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children. The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor."

In the meantime, a team has been sent to KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to ensure any possible infections are detected.

"The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well."

Mkhize confirmed that a media briefing would be held in order to keep the public up to date:

"This media briefing is to ensure that the public is immediately kept abreast. A press briefing will be held later after the parliamentary debate this evening, to shed more light on this issue."

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, claimed the outbreak of Covid-19 had negatively impacted Nigeria’s oil revenue. She said a mid-term review of the 2020 budget would be carried to reflect the realities on ground.

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The minister stated this when she fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

According to him, the international oil price has dropped to 52dollars below the budget benchmark of 57dollars per barrel, impacting negatively on the nation’s estimated revenue for the fiscal year.

The minister, however, revealed that the oil nation’s oil production had increased between two million barrels and 2.1 million barrels per day.

“We are concerned in the current drop in oil price because it’s now below our budget.

“I am glad to inform you that our oil production as at today is two million barrel per day and at times slightly higher. That in its self will be a cushioning effect for us in the current oil price.

“We will do a mid-term review, and if the impact is so much, we will need to do an adjustment in the budget working together with the National Assembly.”

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The minister revealed that the Council approved the issuance of a sovereign guarantee to the tune of 85 per cent of the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas project.

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She said: “This is not a new contract; it was previously approved by council in 2017 in the sum of $2.89 billion. The memo of today is at a revised cost of 2.571 billion dollars, equivalent to a 10 percent discount of the original sum.

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