The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife, Dr May Mkhize, have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The couple did their COVID19 tests on Saturday after the Minister started showing mild symptoms.
“I was feeling abnormally exhausted and as the day progressed, I started losing my appetite. My wife had a cough, was dizzy and extremely exhausted. Given her symptoms, the doctors advised that she must be admitted for observation and rehydration,” the Minister said in a statement on Sunday.
The couple has advised their close contacts, which include family members and the Ministry team to get tested and isolated in their homes.
“I am now in quarantine at home, and both my wife and I remain optimistic that we will fully recover from this virus,” Mkhize said.
The Minister will use this quarantine period to rest and recharge, as he is tasked with improving the health services of the country and the lives of South Africans, even post COVID-19.
The Minister has once again encouraged all South Africans to continue adhering to the health protocols.
“I want to beg that we do not neglect wearing our masks, social distancing and washing/sanitising our hands. As a country, we’ve made significant strides in our fight against this pandemic.
“Let us not dare regress. Whatever we do and wherever we go, we have to keep in mind that there remains a risk of a second wave. This virus only spreads through movement and contact of people. Therefore, we must all play our part. We must protect ourselves and those we love,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished Mkhize and his wife a safe and speedy recovery.
“The President wishes the Mkhizes a safe and restful recovery, and joins the Minister in calling on all South Africans to remain careful, and do all we need to do to keep safe and help the country avoid a second wave of the pandemic,” the Presidency said in a statement.
As of Sunday, the cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases in the country was 703 793, with 1 662 new cases identified since the last report.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 549 478, with 21 337 new tests conducted since the last report.
“Regrettably, we report 63 more COVID-19 related deaths: nine in the Eastern Cape and 54 in KwaZulu-Natal. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 18 471.
“Of the deaths reported today, none were reported to have occurred in the last 24 – 48 hours,” the Minister said.
The Minister has extended condolences to the loved ones of the departed. He has also thanked the healthcare workers who treated the deceased.
“Our recoveries now stand at 634 543, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%,” the Minister said.