The 38-year-old man from Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, who was infected with coronavirus is reportedly responding well to his treatment.
Dr Robyn Reed told e.tv News that the situation of the affected man was “blown out of proportion”.
“This is a hugely blown out of proportion thing, I’m afraid. People are making a huge hysterical panic about something that is actually a very bad flu,” she said.
Dr Reed said if one was to contract the virus, they would get over it like the normal flu and she urged South Africans not to panic.
“Most of the people who get it (coronavirus) are going to get over it like they will get over flu. So please, I really would appeal to the Hilton community and everybody else… to calm down.
“Take the basic precautions of hand hygiene, don’t put your hands to your face, don’t shake hands with too many people and don’t kiss and hug people,” Dr Reed said.
She is reportedly in self-isolation at her healthcare office, where the national institute of communicable diseases (NICD), will be testing her and her staff for the virus today.
The NICD on Thursday confirmed South Africa’s first case of Covid-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize was briefing parliament about the disease on Thursday.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March 2020,” said the department in a statement.
The patient has been self-isolating since consulting a private general practitioner on 3 March for his symptoms, which included fever, headache, malaise, sore throat and cough.
The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.
The couple also has two children.
The Emergency Operating Centre has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from the NICD.