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NCID warns coronavirus stereotyping may cause panic, confusion

There have been no confirmed cases in the country, but fear and anxiety continue to grow as the Covid-19 virus spreads rapidly across the globe.

This undated handout picture courtesy of the British Health Protection Agency shows the coronavirus seen under an electron microscope. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is warning that stigmas around the coronavirus can hamper efforts to identify and control the spread of the virus in South Africa.

There have been no confirmed cases in the country, but fear and anxiety continue to grow as the Covid-19 virus spreads rapidly across the globe.

*Coronavirus: People of Asian descent facing discrimination in SA

There have been no confirmed cases in the country.

The NCID said that of all the people tested, all tests were negative.

The coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people worldwide since it began last year.

But the institute said it was worried about the trend to discriminate against people who are from Europe, Asia or the Middle East.

The institute's Kerrigan McCarthy said: “All of the results have been negative. The NICD is currently the only laboratory that is performing testing.”

McCarthy said the institute was warning against stereotyping, which may lead to confusion and panic.

WATCH: SA Chinese community faces racial stereotypes amid coronavirus outbreak