Bringing you all the latest coronavirus updates from South Africa and around the world in real-time.
In tracking the spread and severity of the 2019/2020 coronavirus outbreak – officially referred to as COVID-19 – which has already led to global concern, we aim to keep you informed and up to date with major consequences of the pandemic.
Internationally recognised as a Public Health Emergency, the first positive cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has forced international travel bans, school closures, curfews and quarantine measures which have decimated global financial markets.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified symptoms of the coronavirus to include a fever, cough and breathing difficulties. Severe symptoms include pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.
Thorough and consistent personal hygiene has been highlighted as the primary preventative measure. The WHO has recommended regular hand washing in conjunction with covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
The coronavirus mortality rate has been estimated at 3.4% – with persons suffering from pre-existing conditions, particularly auto-immune deficiencies, most likely to succumb to the illness.
Latest coronavirus updates, Friday 13 March 2020
- Confirmed coronavirus cases: 137 882
- Confirmed deaths: 5 080
- Confirmed cases in 131 countries and territories
15:55: Global sport disruptions
The Australian F1 Grand Prix is cancelled.
India postpones its cricket championship until at least April 15.
The world table tennis body suspends all activities until the end of April.
All football in France is suspended for an indefinite period.
UEFA postpones all Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled to be played next week.
In the United States, the National Hockey League halts the season.
15:28: Two Egyptian men detained after harassing Chinese
Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday ordered four-days’ detention for two citizens who discriminated against a Chinese man by accusing him of having Covid-19.
The incident took place on Tuesday, reported Al-Ahram daily newspaper’s online portal, Ahram Online.
The publication said footage of the incident showed the driver of what appeared to be a cab-hailing service holding a tissue over his mouth while he was driving a Chinese man, while another driver filming the incident shouted to the driver to “throw him out”. (ANA)
15:04 SAST: First case of coronavirus confirmed in Ethiopia
The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Ethiopia on Friday 13 March.
It is believed that a 48-year-old Japanese National arrived in the country from Burkina Faso. The man arrived in Ethiopia on 4 March and is currently in isolation, receiving medical treatment.
13:52 SAST: Limpopo quarantine site causes controversy
The Ranch Resort in Limpopo, now deemed the designated quarantine site for South Africans returning from Wuhan, has become somewhat of a controversial topic.
After the announcement of the site by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, social media users made up of Limpopo residents expressed anger and fear over the location, asking why the government chose to place people that are potentially infected with the coronavirus in their province.
Despite an uproar and rumoured protests, the government went on to announce that the quarantine site is a no-go area. The site is currently guarded by the army and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Two perimeters have been set up around the site for extra security.
13:33 SAST: Global coronavirus deaths pass 5 000
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has risen to 5,043, according to an AFP tally based on official sources at 1100 GMT on Friday.
A total of 3,176 people have died in mainland China, followed by 1,016 in Italy, and 514 in Iran — the three countries with the highest number of deaths.
Since COVID-19 was first detected in December, more than 134,300 people have been infected in 121 countries and territories. (AFP)
13:16 SAST: South African coronavirus cases jump to 24
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms that the number of people confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus has increased to 24. The first positive case in the country was reported on Thursday 5 March.
12:34 SAST: Ghanaian government to announce travel restrictions
Ghana’s minister of information, Kojo Oppong Nkumah, has said that government would on Friday make an announcement regarding travel restrictions on countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Graphic Online reported that Nkrumah, who spoke in a radio interview on Accra-based Peace FM, further disclosed that the meeting about the restrictions was chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The deputy minister of foreign affairs, Charles Owiredu, has said although consular services had been suspended, emergency services were still being provided.