The South African government has confirmed the first case of Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, in the country.
Announcing this Thursday, the Minister of Health, South Africa, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases has ran a test on the patient, and it turned out positive to the virus.
He said: “The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.
“Meanwhile, two South Africans who tested positive to the disease aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess have now tested negative and will shortly be making their way back to South Africa,” the minister said.
The pair who initially tested positive for Coronavirus had been hospitalised in Japan after being taken ashore from the cruise ship where they worked.
The Diamond Princess was first quarantined in January when a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for Coronavirus.
South Africa, which last week said it would evacuate its nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, adding that those plans are at an ‘advanced stage’, said, “A total of 184 South Africans have indicated their desire to be repatriated.”
They are said to be mostly “students, teachers and other professionals.”