South Africa’s mining minister admitted to hospital with COVID-19

South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has been admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Today, minister Mantashe was admitted to hospital on the advice of their doctor for better medical attention and monitoring,” said Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Monday.

Mantashe tested positive last week along with his wife Nolwandle. “We will continue to give the Mantashe family all the support they need during this time,” said Mthembu.

“We wish both minister and Mrs Mantashe a speedy recovery from this invisible enemy and we are quite confident that they will emerge victorious against the coronavirus.”

65-year old Mantashe is the fourth senior South African politician to contract the virus. Premiers David Makhura of Gauteng and Job Mokgoro of North West have also been admitted to hospital and Alan Winde of the Western Cape also recently tested positive.

To date, around 382,000 people have contracted the virus in South Africa, with 5,173 deaths and 195,000 recoveries.

On Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that South Africa’s surging numbers could be a ‘precursor’ for outbreaks across the continent. Until recently, Africa had remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic, compared to figures seen in other parts of the world.