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South Africa’s first coronavirus patient now has no symptoms, but not ‘cured’

“South Africa records It’s first successful cure of Coronavirus patient,” claims the headline of an article linked to a Facebook post. The post includes a screenshot of the story, published on the site iHarare on 9 March 2020.

Is this true?

Covid-19 cases in South Africa rising

A live map using World Health Organization data shows that South Africa had three confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on 10 March. None of the patients are yet fully recovered.

The WHO reported the country’s first case of Covid-19 on 6 March. As at 11 March confirmed cases had risen to 13.

Source does not say patient ‘cured’

The iHarare story attributes its information to an article on the South African news site IOL.

But nowhere in the IOL article does it say that South Africa’s first Covid-19 patient has been successfully cured.

It does say that the patient, a 38-year-old man in KwaZulu-Natal province, “is ready to go home”.

But he “still needed to be given official medical clearance” before he can head home, the article says. He now has no symptoms but still has to undergo clinical observations, with recommended guidelines still to be followed.

There have also been no credible media reports of the patient being “cured”. The WHO also notes that there isn’t yet a publicly available drug or vaccine for the virus.

The iHarare headline is false. – Taryn Willows


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