Thursday, 30 January 2020 18:51

South Africa’s second-biggest private hospital ground Life Healthcare has denied reports that a patient at one of their hospitals is receiving treatment for the deadly coronavirus.

An outbreak of the virus has killed 170 people and infected more than 7,700 people in China, as well as around 100 people across more than a dozen other countries.

The Health Minister Zweli Mkhize earlier this week said that the country’s authorities are in highest alert for any possible cases.

Additionally, three major public hospitals – Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Steve Biko Hospital and Tembisa Hospital – have been prepared to receive coronavirus cases should they occur.

The outbreak has also led to numerous false reports of confirmed cases in South Africa, with the Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria saying it’s also received queries on a possible patient at the hospital.

Life Healthcare’s Joy Cleghorn said no patient has been admitted carrying the virus. 

“Life Healthcare can confirm that none of its patients have been diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to date. Life Healthcare takes all suspect cases seriously and works closely with the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases) as well as the Department of Health.”

Meanwhile China's National Health Commission said more than 7,000 people had been infected by the novel coronavirus. Outside China, Macau and Hong Kong there have been at least 100 confirmed cases reported.