South Africa diagnosed a traveler returning from Italy as its first case of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who traveled to Italy with his wife,” South Africa’s health minister Dr. 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, 2020.”
Mkhize said that the patient went to a general practitioner on March 3 with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise and sore throat and cough; a nurse took a swab and it was delivered to a lab and the patient went into self-isolation. The couple also have two children, the statement added.
Mkhize said that authorities were tracing contacts, the doctor is self-isolating, and a tracer team has been sent to KwaZulu-Natal province.
At the onset of the outbreak, South Africa was just one of two countries in the continent with reliable testing capabilities. That has since expanded to more than 40, according to the African CDC.