Minister Ebrahim Patel tests positive for COVID-19

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Presidency announced in a statement released on Saturday night.


He received his results on Saturday and is now in self-quarantine. This is the second time that he has been tested since the outbreak of this virus.

He is in good spirits and is working from home


"Minister Patel is in good spirits and is in self-quarantine, and will continue to work from home. Those that have been in contact with the Minister are also in self-isolation and have been encouraged to get tested," the statement said.


On Friday he participated in the virtual parliamentary budget vote debate on the revised budget for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC).


"The Minister remains committed to preparing South Africa for the post-covid world, strengthening efforts around reconstruction and recovery," the Presidency said.


"As part his budget debate speech [on Friday], the Minister announced that every directorate of the DTIC and every agency within its mandate will prioritise saving firms and jobs during this period."

Presidency wishes all sufferers a speedy recovery


The Presidency stated that it wished Patel a speedy recovery and extended the same well wishes to the thousands of South Africans and their families who are also battling coronavirus.


"To defeat this virus, we must all continue playing our part in observing all health protocols of washing our hands regularly, properly wearing a mask when in public and practicing physical distancing," the statement said.

Several other politicians have also tested positive


Patel is not the first South African politician to test positive for the virus.


Others include Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Both have been hospitalised.


Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula also tested positive and has since recovered.


At the provincial level, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde have contracted COVID-19.