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First confirmed case of COVID-19 at UKZN

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has registered its first confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This, after our staff member tested positive for COVID-19. All regulatory requirements have been fulfilled and UKZN is now able to release the information.

The staff member, who has been in self-isolation at home since Monday, 16 March, developed symptoms on Tuesday, 17 March and was tested for the virus on Thursday, 19 March 2020. The positive test result was communicated late Sunday afternoon, 22 March.

The staffer went into isolation after returning from local travel (inside South Africa) and was concerned about possible exposure to the virus at a large gathering in Johannesburg which involved attendees from Europe.

The staff member has remained at home at all times and has had no visitors. The person's symptoms are improving, hospital admission has not been required and self-isolation at home will continue as long as is required.

While the outcome appears positive, the worrying factor is that the staff member has subsequently been informed that there are other confirmed cases among people who attended the event in Johannesburg.

The staff member has not been on Campus since Thursday, 12 March prior to being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. We can therefore assure the public that other staff members and students have not been exposed to any possible risk as a result of this case.

We wish our colleague a full recovery.

Please visit the COVID-19 information page on the UKZN Web site, or the South African coronavirus news Web site for further information about the local and global response to the COVID-19 epidemic.