2 South Africans test positive for coronavirus in Japan

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Two South Africans have tested positive for the coronavirus while on a cruise ship in Japan, according to a state-run medical institute.

"We confirm that these citizens are currently being treated in Japan and are in good care," said a statement by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

It said the South African authorities are in constant contact with the affected individuals and Japanese authorities.

The two South Africans were part of the Princess Diamond Cruise Ship in Japan.

The institute said to date there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, but the institute continues to test for possible cases.

The first case of COVID-19 in Africa was recorded on Feb. 27 in Nigeria.

On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the evacuation of his country's citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The death toll in China, where the virus originated, is nearly 2,800 and the country has almost 79,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Outside mainland China, the virus has spread to more than 45 countries, claiming over 50 lives and infecting more than 3,000 people.

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