'Critical' Gauteng coronavirus patient is 57-year-old with renal disease

Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

The Gauteng health department is “worried” about the health of one of the province's coronavirus patients, who was confirmed to be in a critical condition.

In a statement, MEC Dr Bandile Masuku said the province had five people who had tested positive for Covid-19 — a figure confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The national health ministry earlier said four people had tested positive.

Masuku said the patient whose condition was critical was a 57-year-old man.

He said the man — whose identity is not being revealed — had a “comorbidity of renal disease, which we are worried about”.

Comorbidity refers to an additional illness or medical condition.

“Those are two factors which usually give us severe pattern of the disease that we have seen. We are quite confident with our staff and everybody who has been working throughout to trace the contact of the persons we are dealing with,” Masuku said.

The health ministry had earlier announced that a total of 13 people around the country had tested positive for the virus.

In Gauteng, those infected are aged between 33 and 57 and had all travelled outside the country.

The first patient is a 33-year-old woman who returned from Italy on March 1.

Two others are a couple, aged 34 and 33, who travelled to Germany and returned to SA on March 9.

The fourth is the 57-year-old man, who travelled to Austria and Italy. He returned to SA on March 9.

Details on the fifth patient were not immediately available.

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