While we continue to see an increase in COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa, there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is circulating in South Africa’s population; however, the status of COVID-19 transmission is increasingly likely to shift based on trends found in other parts of the world. We call on all South Africans to continue to follow COVID-19 preventive measures such as meticulous hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, along with private laboratories has tested 1476 for SARS-CoV-2 – the causative pathogen for COVID-19. As of 15 March 2020, there have been 13 newly imported COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 51.
The breakdown per province is as follows:
⁃A 60-year-old male who had travelled to Iran.
⁃A 36-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
⁃A 54-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
⁃A 27-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
⁃A 21-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
⁃A 53-year-old female who had travelled to Germany
⁃A 29-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
WESTERN CAPE: 5
⁃A 35-year-old female who had travelled to Germany and Austria
⁃A 42-year-old female who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland and the UK
⁃A 50-year-old male who had travelled to the Netherlands
⁃A 33-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland
⁃A 35-year-old male who had travelled to Austria
⁃A 34-year-old male who had travelled to the UK
Note for Clinicians
In our efforts to expand and streamline testing of COVID-19, we have decided that doctors no longer need approval from NICD to test for the virus but should still communicate with their local laboratory experts, in the private or public sector, to help streamline the taking of specimens and laboratory testing. The laboratories will test the submitted samples as long as the case definition is applied and the required supporting documents (specimen submission form and PUI form) accompany the sample (specimen submission form and PUI form) available at NICD website: nicd.ac.za.