The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, notes rumours circulating on social media, particularly on WhatsApp about a positive COVID-19 case in South Africa. We wish to assure the public that the rumours are false and in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case, the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, will make an official announcement. We urge all South Africans to desist from the sharing of false information and encourage them to access credible COVID-19 information from our website, www.nicd.ac.za, and the National Department of Health.
We continue to monitor developments globally and locally with regards to COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 continues to affect other parts of the world as we have seen a greater increase in the number of transmitted cases reported outside of China than new cases emerging from China. As from 04 March 2020, the NICD, has tested a total of 181 persons for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 132 have met the case definition for persons under investigation (PUI). All of the tests processed have come back negative, and the NICD can confirm that South Africa has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 to date.