South Africa on Thursday reported the first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
"The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive. The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.
They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, the minister said.
The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough, Mkhize said.
The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab. The patient has been self-isolated since March 3.
The couple also has two children. The Emergency Operating Center (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor.
The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD.
The doctor has been self-isolated as well, according to the minister.