Eastern Cape's patient zero now in quarantine

Image: 123RF/ADZIC NATASA

Following public outrage over reports that the first confirmed person with coronavirus in East London had broken self-isolation rules and roamed the streets, the government has stepped in and removed her from her Beacon Bay home.

Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba told DispatchLIVE that the 28-year-old Mercedez Benz employee is now quarantined in a private hospital and monitored by government doctors.

“What we thought was proper as government is to quell the whole issue and ensure that the patient is no longer in a voluntary quarantine. So last night, we agreed with the doctor hired by her employer and moved the patient to a private hospital.”

Gomba said: “We are now convinced that we won't have a patient who is going to be seen in the streets and that to us settles this matter.”

The reports about the woman having broken her self isolation regulations and started roaming the town, sparked panic and outrage on Monday.

We are now convinced that we won't have a patient who is going to be seen in the streets.

They also drew the ire of Gomba, prompting her to unleash a stinging rebuke on the woman.

But, during a press briefing on Tuesday mid day, Gomba announced that there was no evidence or official report to back up the claims that the patient had been roaming around.

Gomba said the private doctor, hired by MBSA to observe the patient, refuted claims that the woman had been roaming around. “He [doctor] said they monitored her regularly and gave her supplies. We didn't want to argue. We are sure where she is now. Our doctor also followed up and saw her in a formal quarantine.”

“We understand that we are coming from all sorts of stories, allegations and accusations that she had been seen here and there, but what we understand is that she is under a private facility facilitated by her workplace [MBSA],”said Gomba.

The latest figures for the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa. Produced by: Luke Charter


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