South Africa on Thursday confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus, a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy, health ministry announced.
“This morning,… the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.
It is the first case in southern Africa, and the latest confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Senegal.
The case was detected in the country’s eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
The patient and his wife were part of a group of 10 people who arrived back in South Africa from Italy on March 1.
Italy has emerged as the European hotspot for the deadly virus with the national death toll at 107, the deadliest outbreak outside China.