Friday, 28 February 2020

Japan: Two South Africans have tested positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship in Japan.

“We confirm that these citizens are currently being treated in Japan and are in good care. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Department of Health are in constant contact with the individuals and the Japanese authorities,” said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Friday.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, and the institute continues to test for possible cases.

A total of 133 people have been tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 89 met the case definition for persons under investigation (PUI) as of 28 February.

On 27 February, Nigeria recorded its first positive case of COVID-19.

Given these recent developments globally and in Africa, the NICD said it is not unlikely that South Africa will have importation of COVID-19.

“As such, we continue to monitor trends of COVID-19 globally and in the African region to improve our knowledge of the disease and to continually enhance our surveillance and response,” said the NICD.

The institute also welcomed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to repatriate South African citizens from Wuhan City in Hubei province, China.

“The detailed logistics are being finalised, and the NICD is preparing to support the initiative in collaboration with all other involved government departments to ensure the containment of the virus.

“Based on currently available information, none of the affected individuals has been diagnosed with the virus, nor have they exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19,” said the NICD.

In preparation, the NICD said it is working with international partners to learn from their experiences, to keep the public and the repatriated persons well and healthy.