Tests for Egypt's only coronavirus case come negative

Kenyan primary school pupils hold placards in solidarity with China in Nairobi, Feb. 19, 2020. Many children from across the world have created their paintings in solidarity with China's fight against coronavirus epidemic. Xinhua/Li Yan

CAIRO, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- A foreign national who was recently announced to be Egypt's first case with novel coronavirus has tested negative for the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Egypt's Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

In a joint statement, both health bodies announced that the RT-PCR results of the foreigner came back 48 hours after the person was admitted to a hospital for quarantine.

The person suspected of having contracted the virus had undergone six RT-PCR tests during a period of three consecutive days, the statement said, adding that the results of the tests came back negative each time.

"The health status of the person was monitored by medical teams around the clock ... the person did not show any symptoms during the isolation period," the statement read.

Dr. Jean Jabbour, WHO Representative in Egypt, said that all the measures taken to monitor the situation were carried out in full coordination with the WHO and in accordance with its scientific and technical guidelines, especially with regard to laboratory procedures, according to the statement.

On Friday, the Egyptian Health Ministry announced the first case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Egypt. The identity and nationality of the patient were not revealed.

The ministry also said that the patient was transferred in a self-sterilized ambulance to a hospital and kept under mandatory quarantine, adding that the health ministry has tested those who had been in contact with the person, affirming they had all tested negative for the virus.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Egypt has adopted an integrated plan, which covers early detection, quarantine and treatment measures, as well as raising public awareness. 

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