Sun, 05 Apr 2020

The Health Ministry in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) has said it is monitoring its first suspected case of novel coronavirus.

According to the SABC, the case was identified on Friday.

eSwatini's director of Health Services Dr. Vusi Magagula said the woman recently entered eSwatini on 6 February after travelling from China to South Africa. Netwerk24 reported that she is currently under quarantine in a hospital in Mbabane and blood samples have been taken for further analysis.

"She presented with a fever and was at the hospital then the rapid response team took over and took up the case. She came through the Ngwenya Port of Entry on February 6 having arrived from the Republic of South Africa.

"I don't think she was presenting with any symptoms, we only picked her up on the 14th because she was already now in hospital, ill and had to be admitted to the isolation ward. So I guess when she passed through OR [Tambo airport] or even through Ngwenya border post she didn't have the symptoms," the SABC reported Dr Magagula as saying.

READ | Chinese ambassador advises SA nationals to stay in China, rather than return home

On Friday, AFP reported that Egypt had confirmed its first case on coronavirus. This is the first case on the continent.

Authorities have notified the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the patient, whose nationality was not given, was placed in an isolation ward at a hospital for treatment and monitoring.

On Wednesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said that 67 individual tests for the novel coronavirus had come up negative, meaning that South Africa continued to have no confirmed cases, News24 reported.

On Friday, China's ambassador in South Africa, Lin Songtian, said the panic about the coronavirus is "man-made and unnecessary" and South African nationals are advised to stay in China, according to News24.

He added that only 27 out of millions of foreign nationals in China had been diagnosed with the virus.

ALSO READ | China's tough choices: Contain the virus or support the economy?

"It is unsafe, costly and risky for any foreigner to fly back to their mother country at this moment because long-distance flying is very risky," he said at a press briefing in Cape Town.

Songtian said that should there be a confirmed case, he had every faith that South Africa was equipped and well prepared for it.

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