• Dettol said it is unsure whether its products are effective against novel coronavirus. 
  • It said since the virus is new, the company has not yet been able to test it with its products. 
  • Seven people in South Africa have tested positive for the virus since it was first detected locally a week ago. 
  • For more stories, go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

Dettol, a major supplier of soaps, disinfect and cleaning products in South Africa, is unsure whether its products are effective against novel coronavirus. 

Dettol said as the virus is a new strain of the novel coronavirus never before seen in humans, it has not yet been available for testing with its products. 

“We continue to work with our partners to ensure that we have the latest understanding of the virus and will testing our product range once health authorities make the strain available,” Dettol said in a statement. 

The World Health Organisation  (WHO) advises people to wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser in a bid to combat the virus. 

Also read: Covid-19 update: Refunds from airlines big in SA; Italy locks down in the face of coronavirus

Seven people in South Africa have tested positive for the virus since it was detected locally a week ago. Globally, over 100,000 people have been infected. 

It was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the WHO in January, a month after it was detected in Wuhan, China.

Since then a number of companies cancelled corporate travel, while global events such as Barcelona’s mobile world congress, and creative conference SXSW in Texas, United States, have been cancelled. 

Symptoms of the virus include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath and might appear within two to 14 days after exposure. 

It spreads most commonly through the air by coughing and sneezing, through close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, and touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.