How the virus has spread in the Eastern Cape

Image: Jozef Polc/

As a Port Elizabeth doctor and nurse tested positive for Covid-19, along with a woman quarantined at Livingstone Hospital, a clearer picture has emerged of where the first 12 recorded Eastern Cape patients live, travelled and how many people they interacted with.

The first 12 who contracted Covid-19 after the virus spread across the globe came into close physical contact with 128 people while they showed symptoms of the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

The provincial government has managed to trace 84 of these people, with the remaining 44 still being tracked down.

The details of the first 12 infected people are contained in an Eastern Cape health department report.

Of the 84 people traced, 39 had already successfully finished a 14-day monitoring period, with 24 found to be living in Gauteng when they were contacted.

Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana declined to comment on the report, saying it was confidential.

The report, dated March 29, shows that the gender of the people was evenly spread, with six men and six women testing positive — with their ages ranging between 22 and 87.

The 87-year-old is a Nelson Mandela Bay woman whose travel history is still under investigation by the department.

The youngest person listed is a 22-year-old man who also lives in Nelson Mandela Bay.

He tested positive after visiting Austria, Germany and the UK. The report states that he is in self-isolation at home.

The other two positive cases in the city are a 61-year-old man who recently travelled to Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, with the other listed as a 36-year-old woman who had not left the Bay recently.

“The one case in Bluewater Bay was a close contact of a confirmed case and had [no] travel history either locally, regionally or internationally,” the report reads.

The first reported case in the Eastern Cape was a 28-year-old East London woman who had travelled to Germany, with her symptoms first showing on March 14.

The remaining two cases in Buffalo City are a 27-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man. He travelled to England while she visited Italy.

In Amathole, a 27-year-old woman tested positive after returning from Italy. She started showing symptoms on March 16.

It emerged at the weekend that three people living in the Sarah Baartman district had also contracted the novel virus — one case in Aberdeen, one in St Francis Bay and another in Paterson.

Two of them are women aged 25, with the man aged 43. He travelled to Eswatini [Swaziland] and one of the women was abroad in the UK, with the other woman’s travel history still under investigation.

A 26-year-old man, who visited Italy, Australia and Germany, is in self-isolation in Komani.

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