- Over the weekend, the Egyptian health ministry announced that the deadly coronavirus had been detected in a visiting foreigner.
- This was Africa's first confirmed case of the virus, officially known as COVID-19.
- Almost a week later, repeated tests on the patient have come out negative.
Africa recorded its first confirmed case of the deadly novel coronavirus in Egypt on February 14, 2020. It was detected in a foreigner who was immediately quarantined and placed under surveillance at a hospital.
Days later, Egypt Independent reports that the patient initially thought to be infected with the virus has tested negative.
The Egyptian Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
According to the Health Ministry’s spokesperson, Khaled Megahed, the patient has gone through several rounds of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis, a test reserved for coronavirus patients.
All the repeated PRC analyses, conducted six times over three consecutive days, under the supervision of the Health Ministry and the WHO, all tested negative each time.
Despite passing each test, the patient will still be quarantined for the next 14 days.
Does a cure for coronavirus exist?
Meanwhile, chloroquine phosphate is being hailed as a cure for the ongoing worldwide epidemic.
Based on the result of preliminary clinical trials, Chinese experts have found that this antimalarial drug has a ‘certain curative effect’ on the virus with ‘fairly good efficacy’.
Treated with chloroquine, Sun reports that patients see a better drop in fever, improvement of lung CT images, and relatively shorter recovery time.
So far, there have been no obvious serious adverse reactions in the trials. It has been used on more than 100 participants.
Researchers say it is one of the few existing drugs that can effectively inhibit the novel coronavirus. The others include Favipiravir and Remdesivir. However, experts say these drugs should only be used under close observation.
Researchers, clinicians and drugmakers are currently working overtime to find a cure for the deadly virus that has been linked to over 2,000 deaths and 75, 204 confirmed cases as of February 19, 2020.