The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg says although more than 100 people have been tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, no cases have been confirmed.
The NICD’s Prof Cheryl Cohen was reacting after concerns were expressed by the World Health Organisation about the possible spread of the virus to Africa.
Cohen says active surveillance pf the virus is a key priority.
“Active surveillance for COVID-19 remains a key priority for the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the national Department of Health. As of 21 February 2020, the NICD has tested 107 for SARS COVID-2 of which 56 were persons under investigation. The NICD can confirm that all results came back negative for SARS COVID-2 and that South Africa has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19.”
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has assured South Africans that government is fully prepared should the coronavirus make its way into the country.
China, the epicentre of the virus, has reported a total of 75 569 cases of the virus 2 239 deaths, and the virus has already spread to 26 countries and territories outside of mainland China.
In the video below, South African authorities say that they are on high alert to detect the coronavirus in the country: