Kruger visitor tested positive for COVID-19, dies

Posted on 29 March 2020

An elderly man from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal who recently visited the Kruger National Park tested positive for COVID-19 on 27 March, upon returning home. The 74-year-old had been with his family on holiday.

Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize, announced on Sunday, 29 March that the man sadly passed away in a private hospital in Ladysmith. He had been on ventilation.

“It has been reported to us that the deceased patient had an underlying skin cancer condition (melanoma), which had already complicated. He presented with the following symptoms: respiratory distress, shortness of breath, cardiac failure, decreased saturation and his temperature was above 38 degrees.”

The people he had been in contact with have been informed of his diagnosis.

“The deceased’s family, 14 health workers, including 3 specialist doctors, who were in contact with him are now in quarantine and being monitored.”

On 27 March, SANParks announced that a French tourist who visited the park also tested positive. In a statement they said: “South African National Parks (SANParks) confirms that one French tourist that arrived in the Kruger National Park (KNP), tested positive to the novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

“The tourist was part of a group of six who had booked a two-night stay in the national park. The group arrived in the country on 14 March 2020 and entered the KNP three days later on 17 March departing on 19 March 2020.

“Before leaving the KNP one of the tourists, a 25-year-old male, consulted the resident medical doctor in the Park for what was initially suspected to be a malaria infection but later ruled out. The tourist was advised by the Doctor to undergo a COVID-19 test as he complained about a sore throat and had a slight fever (37,3c).

“The test was done as per the National Department of Health (NDoH) regulations by the KNP Doctor with the details of the group obtained for easy tracing. After the test, the group left for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where they were traced and attended to by the NDoH personnel in KZN. NDoH has confirmed that the five members of the group have now placed themselves in self-isolation and the patient admitted to a designated health facility in KZN.

“Following the release of the tourist results, officials from DoH in Mpumalanga visited Skukuza to track down staff who may have had contact with this group. All possible contacts were speedily identified.”


Image: Unsplash

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