SA citizens coming from China to be isolated


Government is in the process of identifying facilities that will accommodate South Africans who will be repatriated from China, says Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed that government is currently sourcing suitable accommodation facilities all over the country.

“The process is now almost concluded. This includes hotels, game reserves and resorts in remote areas,” said Mkhize.

He said government has in the past three weeks, been in consultations with stakeholders in the hospitality industry and all spheres of government.

The consultations he said, were held with the view to identify suitable accommodation facilities for South African citizens who will be repatriated from Wuhan City, in China. Located in Hubei Province, the city is the epicentre of the Coronavirus in China.

About 151 South Africans –who are currently living under lockdown conditions following the outbreak of the Coronavirus– will be repatriated.

“We wish to reiterate that none of the affected individuals have been diagnosed with the virus nor have they exhibited any symptoms thereof,” said the Minister.

Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the repatriation of South African citizens from Wuhan. Cabinet decided on this course of action after due consideration of the circumstances, and following several requests from the families of South Africans in the city.

Earlier this week, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) announced that an aircraft with the capacity to bring back citizens from China, has been secured.

“As an added precautionary measure, it was decided that upon arrival in South Africa, these citizens will be placed in quarantine,” said the Minister.

In addition the viewing of various facilities has been underway.

“Once a decision is made to select specific facilities has been made, further consultations with stakeholders including leaders of society and communities at large will be undertaken,” said the Minister.

The Department of Health assured the public that the quarantine facility will have very strict military security parameters. These are some of the measures that will be put in place to ensure that communities that live nearby such a facility are not in any way exposed and there is no contact with people who will be under quarantined.


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