COVID-19 patient charged with for attempted murder after absconding quarantine

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A man from KwaZulu-Natal faces charges of attempted murder after returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19, reports IOL.

The businessman is one of the 709 confirmed cases of the deadly virus in South Africa, and had been instructed to go under quarantine.

Criminal charges for COVID-19 patient

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, a criminal case has been opened after the 52-year-old went against medical advice, and ended up exposing Ladysmith residents to the virus.

“The same man travelled to various countries to South Africa. On his return on March 18, he was tested positive with the Covid-19 and was instructed to self-quarantine for at least 14 days pending the blood results. However, he allegedly continued with his business and in doing so disregarded the instructions by a doctor thus allegedly contravening regulations in terms of the National Disaster Act pertaining to the COVIDI-19 virus.”

KZN grapples with growing coronavirus numbers

The suspect has since been arrested and placed at a hospital where he is currently being treated.

KwaZulu-Natal is among the heaviest hit regions in the country, with a total of 91 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded. Eleven of those were reported on Wednesday, as South Africa’s numbers surged by 155 overnight.

Provincial Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu revealed on Tuesday that they had ramped up tracing efforts, with ward-based health teams set to be deployed in an effort to reduce the burden on healthcare workers.

“The number of beds available has also been increased with the support of the private sector and in every town, quarantine sites have been identified,” she said.

A call for cooperation

On Wednesday, national Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize issued out a stern warning that uncooperative people stand to be named and shamed, as the country grapples with the steadily rising numbers.

Mkhize also called for citizens not to take the pandemic lightly, following reports of mass gatherings, ahead of the imminent national lockdown which takes effect on Thursday.

“All patients are improving and there are on only two who are in ICU. I’m worried about people who will take this lightly. Do not invite family or friends round to your home during lockdown: This virus will not be defeated by doctors and nurses, it will be defeated by our people.”