Pictured from left: Health minister Zweli Mkhize, Cyril Ramaphosa and acting CEO of Livingstone Hospital, Khanyisa Makamba, at the Covid-19 ward at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth. Picture: WERNER HILLS
Pictured from left: Health minister Zweli Mkhize, Cyril Ramaphosa and acting CEO of Livingstone Hospital, Khanyisa Makamba, at the Covid-19 ward at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth. Picture: WERNER HILLS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished health minister Zweli Mkhize and his wife, May, a speedy recovery after the two tested positive for Covid-19.

“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,” presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.

By Sunday evening the number of cases in SA had increased by 1,662, bringing the cumulative number to 703,793. A total of 634,543 people have recovered and the country has recorded 18,471 deaths.

Mkhize announced on Sunday evening that he and his wife had tested positive for the virus after developing mild symptoms and is in quarantine at home.

He has been at the forefront of SA’s efforts to manage the  pandemic, and is the fifth cabinet minister to test positive for Covid-19. Minister of mineral resources & energy Gwede Mantashe, employment & labour minister Thulas Nxesi, trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel, and defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula have all previously announced that they have tested positive for the disease. All four have made a full recovery.

Mkhize described his symptoms leading up to his decision to test for the virus.

“I was feeling abnormally exhausted and as the day progressed, I started losing 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,” he said.

Mkhize said their close contacts the past week have been a few of their family members and some of his health ministry team. They have been informed and advised to self-isolate at home and be tested.

The minister did not say how many people were affected.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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