The KwaZulu-Natal department of health says there are two suspected cases of the deadly virus detected in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE
The KwaZulu-Natal department of health says there are two suspected cases of the deadly virus detected in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE

Two suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus were investigated in KwaZulu-Natal, but shortly after confirming the two incidents, the health department said that tests had “dispelled” any sign of the virus.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said that “as of 7.30pm [Thursday], all cases under suspicion have tested negative”.

Earlier on Thursday evening KwaZulu-Natal health department spokesperson Noluthando Nkosi said in a statement that the department was “aware of two suspected coronavirus cases” in the province.

“At the moment, there is no laboratory confirmation of the virus for the above-mentioned cases,” said Nkosi.

Nkosi said that one case was being handled at a state facility, while the other was being managed by a private hospital in Durban.

“The department is monitoring the treatment and management of these patients quite closely,” she said. “Members of the public will be duly notified of any new developments.”

However, later in the evening, the department said that tests had “dispelled” any sign of the virus.

"The department can confidently state that there are no confirmed cases because even in the cases in question, neither of the patients presented with symptoms after 14 days of the incubation period for coronavirus," the department said.

Nkosi appealed for calm and asked that the public not be misled by false statements doing the rounds on social media.

The national health department referred questions to their counterparts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Updated: February 6 2020
An earlier version of the story said two patients were suspected of having the coronavirus.