Increasing cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Update on South Africa’s preparedness

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, notes the increase in the number of novel coronavirus (2019-NCOV) cases that have spread across parts of the world.

These cases were anticipated due to the proximity and close interlinks of transportation modes to Asia. We would like to assure South Africans that South Africa is prepared to deal with the eventuality of a possible imported case as we have put in place systems to rapidly identify, detect and respond to any cases that may reach our borders.

Together with the National Department of Health, the NICD has developed and distributed clinical guidelines and case definitions for doctors and nurses in both the public and the private sectors to better detect, identify and respond to a possible 2019-nCoV case. The guidelines include guidance on what samples to collect to confirm the diagnosis as well as how to best manage the case clinically and to prevent spread to others while the diagnosis is being made.

Situation update:

  • On 26 January 2020, the number of reported confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has increased by 694 cases since the last situation report published yesterday.
  • A total of 2,014 confirmed 2019-nCoV cases have been reported globally;
  • Of the 2,014 cases reported, 1,985 cases were reported from China, including Hong Kong SAR (5 confirmed cases), Macau SAR (2 confirmed cases) and Taipei (3 confirmed cases).
  • Twenty-nine confirmed cases have been reported outside of China in ten countries.  Of these 29 exported cases, 26 had a travel history from Wuhan City, China.
  • Among the three cases identified in countries outside of China: – One case in Australia had direct contact with a confirmed case from Wuhan while in China; – One case in Australia reported today; travel history is not yet known. – One case in Viet Nam had no travel history but was in contact with a confirmed case (his father with travel history to Wuhan), resulting from human to human transmission within a family.
  • Of the 1,975 confirmed cases (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taipei), 324 cases have been reported as severely ill.
  • Fifty-six deaths have been reported to date (52 deaths in Hubei province and 4 from outside Hubei).


Access the WHO report here.

Diseases A-Z Index



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