South Africa | Eswatini in the clear as suspected case of coronavirus turns out negative

The results of a suspected coronavirus case in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) late last week have come back negative, the country's health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The suspected case, which was widely reported over the weekend, involved a woman who entered Eswatini on February 6 after travelling from China to South Africa, the SABC reported.

Dr Vusi Magagula, director of Health Services in Eswatini, revealed on Monday that tests carried out in South Africa came back negative, saying this case helped them to assess their state of readiness for a potential case in future.

This as the number of infected people sat at a staggering 71 000 worldwide, with close to 2 000 deaths.

"It's pleasing to report that the results were negative for coronavirus," Magagula's statement read.

"It is further pleasing that the patient is recovering well and responding to treatment. This experience has assisted in shaping up our preparedness and response plan as we ensure that Emaswati are safe from this global health threat," Magagula noted.

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Egypt confirmed its first case of the virus on Friday - a first for 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, AFP reported.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Saturday confirmed there were still no cases of the novel coronavirus in South Africa.

The NICD said it had tested 82 individuals for Covid-19, and all results had come back negative.

Compiled by Kamva Somdyala