The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has tested 95 people for SARS-CoV-2 of which 53 were persons under investigation (PUI) as of 19 February and all results have come back negative. The NICD confirms that there have not been any confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
Together with Africa Centers for Diseases Control, the World Health Organization (WHO), and Roche Scientific, the NICD will host the training of participants from 17 Member States from the African Region on laboratory diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 from 20 to 22 February 2020. The training will equip participants from Member States with information on diagnostics of COVID-19 and provide hands-on training in the performance of diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 using molecular techniques.
The NICD is a WHO referral laboratory and has conducted testing for a number of countries in the African Region and continues to provide guidance and support to healthcare professionals in South Africa and across the continent.
South Africa remains on high alert for COVID-19 and as part of strengthening knowledge and outbreak preparedness of COVID-19, the NICD with the National Department of Health continues to enhance surveillance activities for COVID-19 by broadening testing in addition to testing cases meeting the PUI.