SA remains free of COVID-19 as Egypt records first confirmed case

No cases of coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, have been reported in SA.
No cases of coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, have been reported in SA.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/AFP/BERND THISSEN

As Egypt this weekend became the first African state to confirm a case of novel coronavirus - now named COVID-19 - the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said all tests in South Africa had come back negative.

The NICD said on Monday: "Of a total of 83 tests conducted on individuals from within South Africa, 46 met the case definition for COVID-19 PUI [person under investigation] and 37 did not."

All of these tests, the institute said, were negative.

The NICD said the COVID-19 outbreak in China has spread to other parts of the world and Africa reported its first confirmed case over the past weekend in Egypt.

The institute said when investigating any outbreak or epidemic, it developed case definitions based on current information.

It said as a precautionary measure, in addition to testing cases meeting the PUI case definition, the institute had broadened testing for SARS-CoV-2 to include additional individuals who fell outside the clinical case definitions.

"The NICD remains on high alert for any suspected cases of COVID-19 and has been following up on information from health care professionals and the public toll-free number," the institute said in a statement.


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