Dr Zweli Mkhize’s condition is improving after the Minister of Health tested positive for Covid-19.
Mkhize announced on Sunday evening that he and his wife Dr May Mkhize were diagnosed with the illness. They are among the more than 705,200 people who tested positive for the virus in South Africa. The minister said he decided to get tested after experiencing some symptoms.
“I started showing mild symptoms. I was feeling abnormally exhausted and as the day progressed, I started losing [sic]appetite,” Mkhize said in a statement. “My wife had a cough, was dizzy and extremely exhausted. Given her symptoms, the doctors advised that she must be admitted for observation and rehydration.”
Speaking to Health-e, the minister’s spokesperson Dr Lwazi Manzi says Mkhize’s condition has improved since the announcement.
“The Minister is well,” says Manzi. “His initial symptoms have subsided.”
Mkhize will continue to work from home with the support of the Deputy Minister Dr Joe Phaahla and Director General Dr Sandile Buthelezi, Manzi adds.
The minister also used his personal experience as an opportunity to remind South Africans to keep practising non-pharmaceutical interventions to curb the spread of the virus. He encouraged South Africans to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing and sanitising their hands.
“As [a] country, we’ve made significant strides in our fight against this pandemic. Let us not dare regress,” says Mkhize. “Whatever we do and wherever we go, we have to keep in mind that there remains a risk of a second wave. This virus only spreads through movement and contact of people. Therefore we must all play our part. We must protect ourselves and those we love.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa wished the Mkhizes “a speedy recovery” in an official statement.
Khabazela, I wish you and your wife, Dr May Mkhize, a safe, restful and speedy recovery from #COVID19. I also join the Minister in calling on all South Africans to remain careful and do all that we need to do to #StaySafe and help the country avoid a second wave of the pandemic. https://t.co/8Q9eWg9H91
— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) October 19, 2020
— Health-e News