The 81-year-old was attending a consultation with Dr. Dharminy Thurairatnam for separate health issues, when the doctor noticed she had a cough.
“I didn’t expect him to come back COVID-positive because we had no community transmission at the time,” Dr. Thurairatnam said.
I was surprised by the result.
“Oh my gosh, they’re kidding me,” Dr. Thurairatnam told her colleagues when the positive test result was revealed.
“I thought it could have been a lab error, but we retested it and it did indeed come back positive.”
After two weeks of quarantine and being free of coronavirus, today is the first time that Dr. Thurairatnam has spoken about her efforts.
“Am I a hero? No. I am very honored by the answer,” she said.
“I feel like I’m in a dream.
“We would not have achieved what we have without (South Australians) volunteering and cooperating.”
South African Health Minister Stephen Wade used Dr. Thurairatnam’s actions as a reminder to thank all health workers in the state.
“Today is a day to celebrate, to celebrate the 45,000 health workforce in South Africa,” Wade said.
South Australia has recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, SA’s director of public health, Professor Nicola Spurrier, announced this morning.
This comes as the number of coronavirus tests reached 6736 overnight.
The total number of active cases in the state remains at 10.
“This is very good news for South Australia,” said Professor Spurrier, as the number of South Australians in quarantine dropped to 1,000.
“I was very pleased to speak to this person and that he accepted my apologies,” said Professor Spurrier.
She expressed her empathy for the man and the ridicule he received on social media.
“I’d be happy to meet with him once the quarantine is over,” he said.