President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

The South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday confirmed the third case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The third patient is said to be the wife of SA’s first coronavirus patient.

The minister in a statement said: “This morning we have received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of a group of 10.

“I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore the third confirmed case in South Africa.”

The couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative.

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He said government had traced all the 10 members in the group in which nine of them have returned to South Africa, adding that results of the other six group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours were also being expected.

The minister informed that the first patient was recovering well.

“He was upbeat and jovial. I also spoke to the doctor who is treating him. She confirmed that this patient is responding well and is now asymptomatic. At the right time, as determined by the treating doctors, the patient will be retested to check his recovery progress,” Mkhize said.

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He said the department would explain to public the clinical observations and guidelines that are recommended to be followed in instances of asymptomatic patients which would be based on the World Health Organization’s guidelines and treatment methodology and disease management approaches that countries like China, which has presented a very high recovery rate, have used in dealing with asymptomatic patients.