Update: SA’s confirmed Covid-19 cases surge to 116

There are now 14 cases of ‘local transmission’ in people who have no known travel history, according to latest official statistics.
A healthcare worker pumps sanitising hand gel onto the hands of a visitor at a health screening desk outside the entrance to Netcare Pretoria East Hospital in Pretoria. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa has surged to 116. This was confirmed by the Department of Health on Wednesday morning as 31 new cases were reported.

It comes just 10 hours since the department released a statement late on Tuesday night that the number of confirmed cases of the contagious virus had risen by 23 cases to 85.

Read: Covid-19: Averting a national disaster

Wednesday’s latest update represents a significant increase of 54 new cases since President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday evening, when he declared several “state of disaster” measures to try to curtail the spread of the virus locally.

Following the health department’s update on Wednesday, the president also held a meeting in Cape Town with leaders of all political parties represented in Parliament on the global coronavirus pandemic.

Watch: President Cyril Ramaphosa and other political leaders address a media briefing on Convid-19

There have been no reported deaths or recoveries related to Covid-19 in SA, however the global death toll is set to top the 8 000 mark this week. The total number of people infected with the virus globally is also set to surpass the 200 000 mark.

In the statement released on Tuesday night by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the department noted that 14 of the new confirmed cases were in Gauteng, five were in the Western Cape and four were in KwaZulu-Natal. Wednesday morning’s statement noted that there were 16 further cases in Gauteng, 10 in the Western Cape, three in KwaZulu-Natal and two in Mpumalanga.

The latest announcements reveals that Gauteng – SA’s economic hub and most populous province – is becoming the epicentre of the virus in the country.

Yet again, most of the new cases are related to people who have travelled overseas, largely to Europe and the US. However, the government’s travel ban on several European countries as well as the US, China, South Korea and Iran comes into effect as of today (Wednesday, March 18).

Covid-19, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation last week, has wreaked havoc on stock markets across the world with several nations, including China, Italy, Spain and France instituting lockdowns on public life in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Read: ‘Coronavirus a pandemic’ concedes World Health Organisation

The health minister said in his statement on Tuesday it “is notable that there are eight cases of local transmission”. With six further local transmission cases reported on Wednesday, this number now stands at 14.

One of the original eight local transmission cases is a two-year-old boy from the Western Cape, making him the youngest person to have contracted Covid-19 in SA. With the increase in local transmission, the  number of Covid-19 cases involving children between the ages of three and five years in the country, has increased from four to six. This includes another two-year-old in the Western Cape.

“I must inform the public that there was a debate with clinicians, epidemiologists [and] virologists on when we, as a government, must release results to the public,” Mkhize noted in the Tuesday night statement.

Read: Covid-19: Cruise and cargo vessel held ‘off port limits’ in Cape Town

“These experts raised an issue of an ethical obligation to immediately alert patients as soon as the results become available. This therefore means that by the time a confirmation test is conducted in public laboratories, patients would have been notified of their initial results,” he added.

“This clarification is important because as a government, we have announced to the public that all positive results will be verified through our public laboratories and the NICD [National Institute for Communicable Diseases],” he pointed out.

“In our efforts to ensure transparency, we have decided to release results as they are submitted by both public and private labs. In instances where our confirmation tests give contrary results, we will inform the public, make reference to that specific result previously announced, and give the outcome of the confirmation results,” Mkhize said.

“While we respect that private laboratories have the capacity to test and on their own issue results, our intention and approach is to ensure that there is credibility in the information and results given to the public,” he added.

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So let me get this right The “SURGE” means 85 people out of 58,775,022 means it has “SURGED” to .0000014465%. FAKE news. They are hyping the issue, at the cost of business owners and individuals that are heavily laden-ed with debt. It will wipe people & business out if the media keeps spreading these types of articles.

1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,254,512, 1024…
If it doubles every day or two you have a problem. Go ask the Chinese and the Italians.
Then go find a quiet corner and think about it. Don’t pick your nose now, ya hear?

Absolutely. The current surge is only those who have been tested and probably not in townships yet

You cannot apply exponential growth models in a closure. This is the mistake a lot of people make when modelling epidemics. A closure is a mathematical space that is bounded on one or more sides. The South African population is a closure. It is bounded by 58.7 million people ( I am led to believe). One cannot keep on doubling the infection rate, if for no other reason, you run out of people. The fraction of people infected cannot exceed 1 or 100%. This is, of course, pure tautology but is the reason why epidemic growth curves always inflect and then flatten.

It will take 19-20 days for the whole population to get it, assuming it doubles everyday. I honestly hope you’re in a job where no basics mathematics are required. I think exponential growth is already done in Grade 9?

You obviously do not understand the risks here. The idea is to contain this as soon as possible. The sooner we get it under control the sooner we can move on. Work out – 23% surge on existing cases (every day) and go work the numbers to see where we might end up. If everybody takes this seriously and work together for a few months we can be back to normal by mid year.


Simple investment formula that can be applied:

FV = PV x (1 + r)^n

FV = number of people infected in the future
PV = current infected
r = rate of increase (current global rate)
n = period (number of days)


FV = 85 X (1.33%)^30

441 538 people infected in a month’s time. How about we add another 5 days.. that would be 1 837 495 people! Care to add another 5 to that? = game over.

I dont think Zokey really understands the numbers . Its not the actual number but the rate of increase : Better explained by Izi.

If everyone takes it seriously, the spread will be slow and we’ll say we over-reacted.

If nobody takes it seriously, the spread will be rapid with devastating consequences, and we’ll wonder why there was no enforcement.

I’ll go with the former.

Now 116 : do the maths Zokey.

Ja, its all the media’s fault. You sound like Donald Trump, who has really been caught with his pants down by this virus. Which, by the way, is now in ALL 50 states…

Yes, business is going to suffer. That is extremely worrying to everyone as well. But the ONLY way to fight this is to restrict movement and human to human contact wherever possible. And test as widely as possible. That is the nature of the beast we are dealing with.

@ Gonzo….dumb fake news statement from you.

Trump banned travel from China and other dodgy countries way back in January (whilst the Democrats were busy with their FAILED impeachment circus).

Obummer (undoubtedly your pin-up boy) ignored the H1N1 outbreak for months and months whist thousands of Americans died.

Who do you prefer to be in charge? Biden? He can’t remember which day of the week it is, or which state he is in. Sanders? He will reduce the US to Venezuala.

Dr Gonzo, speaking about testing, I got a f*#+ed-up response from Lancet when I wanted to go test. They said I must have shown symptoms of the virus if I want to test. If not, I should go play with the fish. That is plain stupid.

Might you know a place perhaps where I may get tested without the silly ‘must show symptoms’ criterion?

116 X 116 X 116 X 116 = 181 million (to that point)

“Don’t touch your face!”
Very easy instruction, yet very difficult to accomplish.

SURGE = Rate, delta: i.e how FAST does it infect.. You citing total infectious numbers…

The real fake news is only 116 cases.

In a country where most live hand to mouth, can’t afford doctors bills let alone quarantine & treatment bills for few weeks, the majority with the virus aren’t going to get tested.

You can say 116 represents maybe 1/10 of the actual numbers blowing up country wide.

There are two approaches have no restrictions and get herd inmunity. Those who get the virus and are sick can be parked in the parking lot of the local hospital. Very small effect on the economy. About 6 percent of the population will die. The other approach is a lock down so that the hospital curve for intense care is flattened. This costs billions and the economy shrinks by 10 percent. The dead rate is about 2.5 percent. Saving lives costs billions. I really hope the Chinese family who ate the pangolin enjoyed it.

Maybe the pangolins prayers were answered so that they can survive.

Eating bats, rats and cats was never going to end well…

$10 Trillion and >10,000 deaths later, they still won’t learn.

Wonder how the Death rate is calculated.

If I look on the https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ website. I see the following.

Closed cases = 91 092
Recovered/ discharged = 82 866
DEATHS = 8226

Surely one cant look at deaths (current) and take this as a percentage of the whole infected number?? That’s like 4% but many of the open cases will still have a bad ending.

I go with in the end it will come to the 9% as calculated by dividing the deaths by the closed cases x 100.


Then you have to wonder.

Is it possible that our South African death rate can be higher?

Consider that the current numbers are mostly first world countries and generally countries with much better health systems than SA. Their populations dont nearly have the amount of HIV/Aids and TB cases SA has.

So if our death rate is double the current it could be 18%.

Best to then keep infections low?

Update your headline: It is now 116

@Martin007 wrote “I really hope the Chinese family who ate the pangolin enjoyed it.”

Firstly, even a basic understanding of medicine will tell you it is not possible for ingested bacteria to become ‘viral’ !

Otherwise, every time someone ate dodgy food from a street vendor should in that case be transmitting their food poisoning to those around them every time this happened ??

Not possible.


Based on this ridiculous postulation, the human race would have been wiped out the day Adam donned his loin skin, and we would have been doomed before we even had a chance to begin.

Further, anybody with even a basic understanding of anthropology will tell you that we have been eating wild meat for millennia !

Why only now all of a sudden a ‘viral’ pandemic has popped up, when humans and animals number in the BILLIONS, and have been co-existing for hundreds of thousands of years

If this explanation of eating wild meat is the reason, then either species of humans or animals would have wiped each other out long ago !!

So one thing that can be established here is that the explanation for this origin is highly dubious indeed [ and has NEVER been confirmed in ANY research tests ]

Maybe time to start drilling deeper and find out any possible agenda’s behind this so called ‘pandemic’ !??

Why now all of a sudden? This is hardly the first time this has happened. Ebola outbreaks are caused by wild animal consumption as well (the source was traced back to bats). But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that patient zero contracted it at the Wuhan seafood and live animal market where no doubt conditions are extremely unsanitary. There are always viruses around and they are constantly evolving/mutating. Many are transmitted from animal to animal. Some are human to human (the four types of influenza being the best-known example). But every once in a while, they jump from animals to people. As is the case now.

Try reading this article, it may enlighten you:




If there is any ‘enlightening’ to be done, then step right up sir:

Firstly, you’re drinking from the MSM kool aid [ if you referencing CNN/Washington Post etc, then you sadly getting the government/corporate pharmaceutical sanctioned narrative…… that is your first mistake ]

Secondly, like the other scares, that over hyped ‘Ebola virus’ turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib too [https://www.globalresearch.ca/ebola-outbreak-the-latest-u-s-government-lies/5405584 ]

Again, fear mongering on a global scale…..what else sells headlines better than a disaster ?

What else better to keep the herds in line ?

What else better to introduce even more freedom limiting draconian measures like the Patriot Act after that dodgy event called 911 ?

As the famous saying goes: “Its easier to fool people, than convince them they’ve been fooled”

Good luck out there

The problem is that we are not comparing these infection rates with other viral borne diseases. How does it shape up with say influenza infections and what in particular is the annual death rate? (lt exceeds the rate for the coronavirus by several hundred thousand yet no borders are closed to prevent the spread of flu.)It took a brave act on the part of Princess Diana to hold the hand of an HIV positive patient for us to conquer our fear of the disease. No one seems to give any thought to the status of the person’s hand they’re shaking anymore.

This is not the first and by no means the last epidemic to hit the world. Remember the swine flu, Sars or even the Spanish flu of 1918? We conquered them all and we will conquer this epidemic too. Each of these occurrences coincided with a degree of media frenzy and each time it took a lot of effort or another media frenzy to restore perspectives.

We need to caution ourselves not to create an economic meltdown that supersedes the calamity of the virus.

at the end of the day this virus will definitely be the leveler. Work/money always came to the big cities while small towns are conveniently neglected, struggling to survive in our misery. Big sporting events,music shows etc. no longer for Cape Town,JHB,PE…you name them. Can’t wait for lower petrol prices and repo rates….. die een se dood die ander se brood is …what an eye opener virus!

many people are self-isolating — give them access to these comment-pages without identifying themselves with an email or phone number.

you might save a life!

This is primarily a ventilator crisis.
Doesn’t really matter how many are infected but how many are waiting their turn for the few ventilators and ICU beds available!

So, they’ve admitted that ‘Covid 19’ is just another strain of flu

And we’ve had flu for a number of decades now

With many tens of thousands catching flu every year past, of which other strains have been way more virulent

And not one death in SA yet either !

Remind me again why this one is any different ???

can I also remind you and everyone else again ( sorry but I will HAMMER on this ) everyday 57 people are murdered in SA!

Exactly and the authorities here do not give a hoot about those murdered or safety in general (because they have enthusiastically turned the country into a haven for criminals). Plus the global Coronavirus death toll to date is about 2 year’s worth of taxi-related deaths yet no one in Government seems to think this (taxi deaths) is worth caring about.

So you not going to dodge a knife coming at you because statistically guns kills more people ?

The economy will suffer there is no doubt about it,however if ramaphosa acts to late,, most of S.A will be done for, majority of our workforce travels via public transportation every day,and as I have no need to explain how important it is to implement self isolation now, I am afraid to say it might be to late to act later rather than sooner

There needs to be a balanced approach to this crisis. Destroying the global economy is likely to make the situation worse in the long run. Recent scientific papers out of China and South Korea are showing great success in treating (not a vaccine) Covid 19 using Hydroxychloroquine (Malaria drug) and a Quercetin or similar zinc based product. Both standard and approved drugs.

Dr Gregory Rigano of Stanford University appeared on Fox News with the results of a trial just completed using these drugs. 90% of those on medication where free of virus after 6 days. 96% on placebo still had virus after 6 days.

In Australia they are starting trials with similar drugs in 50 hospitals in the next few days.

It appears Poland is also using this medication successfully. We cannot afford to destroy the economy. There needs to be a more balanced approach with less hysteria and perhaps some hope being instilled rather than fear.

COVID-19 Thrives Off the Ignorant.


If you talking about the mass hysteria that has reached more epidemic proportions then the actual flu itself, then YES !

And no doubt, the authorities are licking their chops as they exploit this to their advantage

Firstly, good luck all, a tough time is lying ahead.

Ok, so ppl like to compare this to flu, why dont citys go onto lockdown for the seasonal flu, well because flu has a fatality rate of only 0.1%, this fatality rate ranges from 2.0% to 10% in other regions, a more accurate death rate can only be established once the pandemic is over. So countries try to limit the spread to give them time to figure out effective treatment, a vaccine. If we dont try slow it down it will infect millions and over run the healthcare facilities. This will cost any country way more than the steps being taken now to stop the spread. Flu virus is not as contagious or as lethal as this virus. So the steps are purely to limit spread so that it doesent get like italy is experiencing. If italy locked down earlier, it would of saved them so many lives and the economic impact would of been less. Once local transmissions start taking place then it will grow and grow untill it overuns us. Then the government will force everyone to stay at home,the earlier this is done, the sooner we can stop spreading this.

Now some advise, stop thinking this is happening to others, its not here, it wont happen to me. This virus infects all humans, no matter how rich or poor you are, no matter if you african, american, italian, australian, chinese, japanese or from the moon, if you human this thing will infect you too. So please take steps to protect yourself and the ones around you. If you have returned back from abroad recently, stay at home and self isolate, make sure you safe before you go back into society. Dont just self isolate because you have symptons, alot of cases dont show any symptoms untill the person is suddenly very ill. So you might think you not infected but you could be. Stop being selfish, stop thinking of only your needs, this way of thinking got us here in the first place. This is not about individuals, this is about humanity as a whole, lets stand together (but 5m apart) to fight this, each and every single person has the responsibilty to keep the next one safe. If you have flu like symptoms, dont go to work, dont go to doc, send soneone to get you flu meds, stay hone and see how things go. We did 3070 tests locally and only 116 of those are positive, you do know you risk contracting it going to drs rooms, hospitals, etc. So self isolate and if it gets worse then contact the number so they can advise you whats next. Dont go to drs, hospitals, pharmacies, shops or anywhere, stay your ass home and get help from someone, just so you are sure you not a super spreader. Every person is capable of having there own epedemic by not staying away from others. So please, dont go to hospitals or drs with any little symptom. Every persons response to this affects how this horror movie will end. Take responsibility for your own actions now before we kill ppl with this.

I have said this already but will say it again. Context. The hype and panic fuelled by the media is unprecedented, it sells papers, it creates click bait. If you sell or believe this is the doomsday virus, you will only search for every bit of evidence that supports same and discard all else, however, logical contradicting information might be – on a large scale this is called going against the narrative. An stock market analogy the investor with his life savings in a stock in perpetual decline, always looks for the bullish support stories to justify holding onto it until it is worthless. The media will hype this until it exhausts itself. Then likely reverse their commentary or look like idiots.

I can do maths, i understand exponential growth, i understand algorithms, mathematical formula etc. Just ask the 2 Genius nobel prize winners, the inventors of the so called impossible to fail financial model – the LTCM crisis – how did that work out? It is pointless extrapolating a theory or formula into perpetuity – real life does not work like that.

The ‘corona’ virus is a collective group of viruses of which there are estimated to be 100-200 in existence and studied by science at some time or another or many simultaneously on an ongoing basis, they all in one way or another in humans or animals, can cause respiratory problems and failure, or maybe asymptomatic or somewhere in between. It is a fact that of all flu cases each year that somewhere between 7 -16% are caused by a form of corona virus. The world of virology works whereby when usually a new mutation or strain of an existing virus us found it is dumped into a central data base accessible globally, by all scientists and peers to poke around and test run formulas usually exhaustively, comment and debate etc. The WUHAN version was no different but seems to have been plucked very early from this data base and we are where we are today (someone above commented on agendas well there is always an agenda/s). 200,000 cases in 4 months and 8500 deaths from Wuhan virus – in the same period approximately, 270,000 flu deaths. The 1968 flu season i think was a shocker 3 million+ deaths but we did not stop the economy. Italy has been hard hit a lot of people have asked why – a friend offered what could be considered a simpleton explanation but logical he is Sicilian, the way we greet cheek to cheek, or kiss on the cheeks, men to men women to women men to women etc. Obviously that is your highest area of active viral presence – true or not who knows. Also Italy has no where enough respirators, that will change soon, so they are practicing triage and over 70`s are being declined care on respirators. Globally the big boys can manufacture respirators at a tremendous rate so in a couple of months it should not be an issue.

Those extrapolating daily infection rates is fine but not into perpetuity. Every year you or someone you know gets the flu and some of us it is very mild, others for reasons probably at genetic level not understood in current medical terms or those that are unhealthy or with pre-existing health conditions asthma etc get flattened or are bed ridden for a week or hospitalized with pneumonia. It is estimated that at any one time 8-10 of the global population is fighting some for of respiratory illness, upto 15% of which are caused by corona type viruses. In any one flu season usually a minimum of 20% of the population will get sick in that 4-5 months period, more in a bad season, less in a good one. Some of us never get sick. It is acknowledged by bio weapons experts that no virus or bacteria developed can ever be 100% effective, there is always that 10% that for whatever reason will be immune, this is clearly not a bio weapon – look at facts people recovered – look at China with nearly 20% of the global population only 9000 active cases left dropping dramatically every day and summer on the way – Italy has 31,000 and climbing but they closer to peak infection than most.

If someone wants the closest thing to a case study – look at the Diamond Princess moored (stranded) off the coast of Japan for nearly 6 weeks. 2 guests exhibited symptoms so disembarkation was denied, air ventilation on these ships and the waiters, cleaners, doctors, medical staff, general crew, sneaky interaction between friends grabbing drinks together etc going from room to room on a packed ship, ensured that in this 6 weeks period – you are literally 99% guaranteed that just about all of the 3500+ passengers were exposed to the corona virus – lets see what happened. around 750-800 landed up catching the disease so approx. 20% maybe 25%, even though as close to 100% of the passengers would have been exposed at some stage during the 6 weeks. of these 6 people i think maybe 7 died – call this perspective or context. My point not everyone in SA will catch it, some of us never, some of us will catch it and never know it. Yes those immune compromised with TB, AIDS etc will be flattened as they are in any country. I am not trying to play down the severity of what is there, but it is also a known fact that a lot of people that have died over the last 2 decades have died from Flu/ pneumonia, but they never dug that level deeper to determine if it was Corona or non corona related, it was unnecessary, but for sure 10-15% were corona.

We are treating this as the apocalypse, the media always they love bad news, a disease far worst than any virus, as much as they love terror attacks, high profile car crashes and blood shed it sells. So they have an agenda – governments always have one – more control. Virologists and scientists, pharmaceutical companies etc etc etc always have one – grants/ funding expansion etc private research clinics need huge money and can be very profitable. So we must always be cognisant of those that talk their book – new drugs creating the vaccine for this will not be difficult.

Those of you will say yes but it is already mutating so what about next year!? Well how many of you and millions others all over the world go for the annual flu shot just before winter usually – a lot of people and it is increasing. Ever wondered why you need a new flu shot each year, correct because the previous years will be useless as it mutated during this period. Covid 19 will be no different. Also getting a flu shot does not mean you will not get the flu. We have virologists, doctors, scientists and likely politicians working with big pharma – their job is to best guess what they think will be the most virulent strain of flu in the coming season and make the jab for one or maybe 2 of those, they will leave those with perceived much lower virulent capability – guess what some years they totally f#ck it up and we have a very bad season despite all the jabs.

Lets just take a step back – someone said earlier hey 57 people a day are murdered in SA, what about road deaths. If government reacted like this even just 10% as seriously on things like HIV/ TB and building clinics in rural areas to serve those with just the annual common colds and flu, we would see tens of thousands less deaths in treatable problems affecting SA. When all is said and done when this corona panic driven hype is over and the disease hits its critical mass, when infections are far less than those recovering. The deaths from corona will still be far less as in a fraction of, than those from Aids, TB i can add a very long list here in South Africa … maybe we should focus on problems that have been around for decades. Hunger!!!?

I am all for curve flattening and not over whelming the health system. But basically the global economy has been closed, RSA can ill afford that. We must weigh genuine facts and logic against idiotic herd mentality – close an African economy as fragile as RSAs and the extra unemployment and no income (we are already the largest by far per capita welfare state in the world) will cause this country to collapse – who will give a toss about corona if their children cannot eat and the economic burden means that we are world bank and IMF bowl rattlers, relying on WFP for food and UN for medicines. So delaying and slowing measures for sure but not switching the lights off literally.

Fire away.

Could this be a means to reset the global economy? Global warfare can do it but we don’t want that. I wonder.

@Romulus…your summary is superb !!

I, and many others hold the same view

When some critical thinking is applied, a more interesting picture arises from this whole drama driven event

And there will be some very guilty looking naked parties left standing here when the tide eventually goes out again [ here’s looking at you mainstream media/governments/pharmaceutical companies/financial insiders ]

In closing, instead of accepting whats presented to you on face value by those in control, maybe apply some contrarian approach, and the results might surprise you !

Sad as deaths are, they are the least of the economic impact.

Schools close : one of the working parents stops working to care for kids.
Containers and reefers are backed up globally both full and empty. Movement of goods stop.

And then that terrible moment when you run out of toilet paper and know your neighbor bought 1024 rolls because you saw it and 24 cases of bottled water, crates of sardines and boxes of candles in his garage when you drove by.

The coronavirus is being used all over the world by labs, pharmaceutical companies, politicians, the media etc to further their agendas and line their pockets at the expense of the world economy.

Most people have no idea of the massive effect that this is going to have in every country, an economic tsunami is racing around the globe. Major banks are in frantic mode. Reserve banks have run out of reserves. We may easily experience another great depression. Keynesian economics has now been shown to be faulty, the cans have all been kicked down the road for decades, but now, suddenly, the road has turned into a cul de sac.

So now the governments are creating more debt – trillions of dollars – with OUR money – to lend to those who are already so deeply in debt that they cannot survive any unexpected event. Who in his right mind would give more money to irresponsible people to add to their debt? Who would give more drugs to a junkie?

As far as I can tell there has yet to be 1 death in South Africa – yet the economy is already in ICU !

39 people die on our roads every day – but drivers have not been quarantined.

57 people are murdered in South Africa every day – but no action is taken.

Truly, the world has gone insane.

@Foshan….too true !

Thanks, many share your view – its just that the mainstream media won’t share this alternative view

And all this really confirms everything truthers are saying – there is most definitely an agenda or two behind this all


End of comments.





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