The Health Department has confirmed two South Africans who worked onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus.
They are currently being treated in Japan.
The cruise ship – with 12 South African crew members on board – arrived in the Japanese port of Yokohama at the end of January.
At the beginning of the month, it was announced that a patient that had disembarked in Hong Kong had tested positive for the coronavirus, which then started a quarantine period onboard the ship, which ended officially last week.
It was only at the end of the quarantine that the South African government was alerted that there were 12 South Africans onboard.
And now two of the 12 have tested positive.
Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and maintain contact with authorities in Japan.
No one in South Africa has tested positive for Covid-19.
The Health Department’s Lwazi Manzi: “The two South Africans who are affected with Covid-19 are currently being treated in Japan and they will remain there until they are fully cleared to travel. The other 10 are not going to be permitted to leave the ship until the others have left.”
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday ordered the evacuation of 132 South Africans living and working in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus originated.