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Coronavirus: What's The Situation In South Africa

Coronavirus: What's The Situation In South Africa

March 2020 · 4 min read · South Africa

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I've been following the coronavirus outbreak for longer than most because I knew it would roll out like this as it was only a matter of time. While I thought it would spread like SARS and MERS I didn't think it would get to this level where countries were shutting down completely and travel bans would become the norm.

I often check it's been my favourite site to keep up with what is going on globally since it's only slowly starting to unfold in Africa. The continent seems to be the last to be hit by the virus, probably due to the lack of travel to the region in general.

South Africa and the coronavirus

The first case of the coronavirus was picked up on the 5th of March 2020 as a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife tested positive. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.

The number has of writing this post is now up to 51 cases with one recovered and no reported deaths as yet after 1476 tests were conducted.

South Africa’s confirmed cases rose almost 60% in one day with 13 new cases today coming from 7 in Gauteng, 5 from the Western Cape and 1 from KwaZulu-Natal.


  • A 60-year-old male who had travelled to Iran.
  • A 36-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
  • A 54-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
  • A 27-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
  • A 21-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
  • A 53-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
  • A 29-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland


  • A 35-year-old female who had travelled to Germany and Austria
  • A 42-year-old female who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland and the UK
  • A 50-year-old male who had travelled to the Netherlands
  • A 33-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
  • A 35-year-old male who had travelled to Austria


  • A 34-year-old male who had travelled to the UK

Bringing home South Africans

The South African government has also made the call to bring back100 nationals that were in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported in December. They landed at a private airport and are being quarantined at a resort with army protection.

Reactions from South Africa

South Africans are already calling for travel bans to reduce the spread or potential contact ratio to keep it contained.

As with most countries, we do not have the medical infrastructure to handle any sort of pandemic and when you add to it the fact that the country is plagued by rolling blackouts due to daily load shedding it wouldn't be long for a virus left unchecked to spread if strict measures aren't put into place.

We can barely absorb the economic fall out from load-shedding, the virus would further ruin the country and who knows where it will leave those who do have immunities to the virus.

Reactions from the public

If I look at public sentiment online and offline, it's still business as usual and no one seems to be worried too much or changing their habits apart from myself. I can't see anyone bothering to be prepared int he slightest and it's all about memes while we've also had a few fake cases being reported that have caused panic in smaller regions.

I think if this isn't contained a lot of people will be blindsided by it and we're not going to be one of those countries that have the formal enforcement to run any sort of draconian measures that China and Italy have put in place. No one will bother to listen to the quartine issues and they will bear the cost of their actions I suppose.

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Have your say

How is the Coronavirus shaping up in your part of the world?

So have at it my Jessies! If you don't have something to comment, comment "I am a Jessie."

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Travel Resources for your trip to South Africa

Recommended by TravelFeed

Flights: We recommend checking to find the best and cheapest flights to South Africa.

Accomodation: Explore the best places to stay in South Africa on, Agoda and Hostelworld.

Travel Insurance: Medical emergencies abroad can be pricey, but travel health insurance is not. We always use SafetyWing for affordable and reliable coverage.

Transportation: Use 12go and Omio to find detailed bus and train schedules, making travel planning easier.

Car Rental: For hassle-free car hiring, DiscoverCars is our trusted choice with a wide selection of vehicles.

Internet: Got an eSIM compatible phone? Airalo is perfect for reliable internet access during your trip. Just install it before you go, and you're set!

Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

Tickets: Save on entrance fees in South Africa with Klook and Tiquets.

Travel Planner: Need a hand planning? Our free travel planner chatbot is your personal guide to South Africa. Chat now.

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