South African trade minister tests positive for COVID-19

Minister Ibrahim Patel received his results on Saturday but has been reported to being in good spirit and is already in self-quarantine and will continue to work from home.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel has become the latest minister to contract the COVID-19 virus. Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed this in a statement released on Saturday.

“Minister Patel is in good spirits and is in self-quarantine, and will continue to work from home,” Williams said.

“Those that have been in contact with the Minister are also in self-isolation and have been encouraged to get tested,” she added.

Four ministers and several MPs have so far contracted coronavirus in South Africa, which has the highest numbers of diagnosed infections in Africa and ranks fifth in the world after the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.

On Monday, both Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, 61, and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, 65, were separately admitted to hospital with the virus.

The fourth is Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who has since recovered.

To date South Africa has recorded 434,200 cases of coronavirus, at least 6,655 of whom have died.