Zweli Mkhize. Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE
Zweli Mkhize. Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE

The wife of the first man to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in South Africa has also tested positive, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday.

“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 the group of ten.

“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,” Mkhize said in a statement.

The couple’s two children tested negative for the virus.

“It is important to advise the public that the couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative. However, as part of taking extra precautions, these children will remain in self quarantine until their parents have tested negative.”

The couple travelled with a group of 10 people to Italy. Another person in the group has also contracted the virus.

“We expect the results of the other six group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours.”

One of the ten people did not return to South Africa.

Mkhize said he spoke to the first patient on Sunday morning and he was “upbeat and jovial” and his doctor reported that he was "asymptomatic”.

“At the right time, as determined by the treating doctors, the patient will be retested to check his recovery progress.”