According to the National Body of Communicable diseases (NICD),

our national public health institute of South Africa, providing reference microbiology, virology, epidemiology, surveillance and public health research to support the government’s response to communicable disease threats,

Criteria for Person Under Investigation (PUI)

Persons with acute respiratory illness with sudden onset of at least one of the following: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever [≥ 38°C (measured) or history of fever (subjective)] irrespective of admission status 


In the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms, met at least one of the following epidemiological criteria:

·   Were in close contact1 with a confirmed2 or probable3 case of SARS-CoV-2 infection;


·   Had a history of travel to areas with local transmission of SARS-CoV-2; (NB Affected countries will change with time, consult the NICD website for current updates);


·     Worked in, or attended a health care facility where patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections were being treated


·       Admitted with severe pneumonia of unknown aetiology

1Close contact: A person having had face-to-face contact or was in a closed environment with a COVID-19 case; this includes, amongst others, all persons living in the same household as a COVID-19 case and, people working closely in the same environment as a case. A healthcare worker or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case, while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirator, eye protection). A contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care, and crew members serving in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated.

 Confirmed case: A person with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.

 Probable case: A PUI for whom testing for SARS-CoV-2 is inconclusive (the result of the test reported by the laboratory) or for whom testing was positive on a pan-coronavirus assay.

26 March 2020

South Africa is included in “areas with local transmission of COVID-19” according to NICD (