The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says all 61 people who have been tested for the coronavirus in South Africa so far have tested negative.

The World Health Organisation has declared the epidemic a global emergency as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

Most of the more than 1 000 fatalities have been in China.

The NICD’s Cheryl Cohen says the country is well equipped to deal with any cases that may arise.

“There is no confirmed case of the novel 2019 coronavirus in South Africa. It is possible that we will detect a case and as such, we would like to assure the public that should South Africa identify a possible case, the country is well prepared to deal with it. The NICD working with the National Department of Health continues to enhance systems to detect cases that may reach our borders.”

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