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NW residents told to await official announcement after reports of COVID-19 case

As it stands, the North West and Northern Cape are the only two provinces with no known positive cases of the coronavirus.

Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG – The North West department of health on Monday urged its residents not to panic over reports of coronavirus cases in the province and await official updates from the national department of health.

As it stands, the North West and Northern Cape are the only two provinces with no known positive cases of the coronavirus.

But a local Hartbeespoort publication Komorant.co.za reported that a case was confirmed at the local medical centre.

The department’s Tebogo Lekgwathane outlined to Eyewitness News the procedure of reporting cases.

“The department of health in the North West is aware of the speculation of some reports of the coronavirus in the province. However, there is a protocol to reporting or declaring the state of the virus in the country. When there is a suspect, the sample is taken from the suspect to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD]. The NICD then sends the results to the office of the minister. It is the minister who then announces the outcomes of the results."

Lekgethwane confirmed there were no confirmed cases in the North West.

“As we speak we don’t have any declaration of corona in the province. We will wait for the minister if there are any.”

Hartbeespoort lays on the border of the North West province with Gauteng, causing some to further speculate that the case may have been reported among the Gauteng numbers.

On Sunday night, the department of health announced the tally of positive cases in the country was at 274 – with Gauteng recording the most cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address citizens following a meeting with the national command council in which the measures put in place to curb the spread of the deadly virus had been assessed.

Last week, Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster, imposing several restrictions which include the prohibition of the gathering of more than 100 people at a time.