Coronavirus: South Africa confirms first case of COVID-19

Coronavirus: South Africa confirms first case of COVID-19

A South African man has tested positive for coronavirus in the country's first confirmed case of COVID-19.

e Coronavirus seen under an electron miscroscope. France's first victim of a SARS-like virus
HO / British Health Protection Agency / AFP

In a statement this afternoon - the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says the 38-year-old man had recently travelled to Italy - which has one of the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China. The virus has claimed 107 lives in Italy. The country has shut schools and unities in an effort to calm the spread of the virus. 

NICD says the man who had travelled with his wife and eight other people, arrived back in South Africa this past Sunday.

He's said to have displayed symptoms including fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. 

He consulted a private doctor in KwaZulu-Natal where swabs were taken and sent to a lab. 

READ: Coronavirus: Details of how 147 S.Africans in quarantined Wuhan will be repatriated

The Health Ministry says he's been self-isolating since Tuesday. It says the doctor has also self-isolated.

Officials say a tracer team with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD has been deployed to KZN.

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