One of the 5 people who have coronavirus in Gauteng province now seriously ill

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The Gauteng health department is “worried” about the health of one of the province's coronavirus patients, who was confirmed to be in a critical condition.

In a statement, MEC Dr Bandile Masuku said the province had five people who had tested positive for Covid-19 — a figure confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The national health ministry earlier said four people had tested positive.

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Gauteng MEC for Health Bandile Masuku says they have confidence in health professionals.

Masuku says, “One of them is a 57-year-old with a renal disease which we are worried about because those are two factors which usually give us a severe pattern of the disease that we have seen. We are quite confident with our staff and everybody who has been working throughout, from the tracing teams to trace the contacts of the patients we are dealing with.”

Masuku said the patient whose condition was critical was a 57-year-old man.

He said the man — whose identity is not being revealed — had a “comorbidity of renal disease, which we are worried about”.

Comorbidity refers to an additional illness or medical condition.

The health ministry had earlier announced that a total of 13 people around the country had tested positive for the virus.

In Gauteng, those infected are aged between 33 and 57 and had all travelled outside the country.

The first patient is a 33-year-old woman who returned from Italy on March 1.

Two others are a couple, aged 34 and 33, who travelled to Germany and returned to SA on March 9.

The fourth is the 57-year-old man, who travelled to Austria and Italy. He returned to SA on March 9.

Details on the fifth patient were not immediately available.

The head of Infectious Diseases at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University, Professor Jantjie Taljaard say patients who are allowed to be in self-quarantine at home after testing positive for the coronavirus, go through a rigorous process.

The first confirmed coronavirus patient in Cape Town is self-quarantined at home.

Tygerberg Hospital is one of the designated facilities for the isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients in the Western Cape.

Taljaard says people with confirmed cases and choose home quarantine, go through intense discussions with doctors before a decision is made.

He says, “We would have a discussion, discuss their home situation, discuss their abilities to understand what we’re telling them, and we will decide together with the patient if they can go home and self-isolate. There’s a good guideline that we give them of what to do at home, there’s also a video that we show them with examples of what can be done at home, so it’s a collective decision between the clinic and the patient whether it can be done safely at home.”

More than 121 500 people have been infected by the coronavirus across the world and 4383 have died.


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