Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says government is sourcing suitable accommodation facilities all over the country where the South Africans, who will be repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, will be quarantined. More than 150 South Africans are currently living in lock-down conditions in the city which is the epicentre of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
Mkhize reiterated that none of them has been diagnosed with the virus or exhibited any symptoms. They will, however, be quarantined for 21 days after their arrival.
Mkhize said the facilities that are being considered include hotels and lodges in remote areas.
He has assured the public that the quarantine facility will have very strict military security parameters.
The South Africans are expected to be evacuated next week in an operation that will involve the South African Defence Force (SANDF), the Department of International Relations and Chinese authorities.
Mkhize has also warned against people attempting to gain access to the quarantined zone where South Africans who will be evacuated from China will be accommodated.
He says 151 South Africans out of 201 living in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have indicated their intention to return home.
In the video below, the Health Department says the process of identifying facilities to accommodate South African nationals to be evacuated from Wuhan City in China, is almost concluded:
Meanwhile, residents of Thaba Nchu in the Free State have mixed reactions following rumours that their town has been identified as a possible coronavirus quarantine site for the 184 South Africans who will be repatriated from China later this month.
Some residents have expressed concern while others feel that they must come home.
“I’m not feeling for those people who come from China to camp in Thaba Nchu because there’s no evidence to say it’s going to be a government place or in a private place, which means they are going to make some money for that person who’s going to accept people from China. I’m not already accepting that question. I’m sorry we can’t,” says one resident.
“I think it is appropriate for the Thaba Nchu residents to come here and reside wherever they are going to camp because after all they belong here, and they are South Africans. So, why do we have to like abandon them and make them feel like they are outsiders and everything? I feel like they should come here and reside somewhere. They should be kept and be cured, I think so,” says another.
The graphic below gives simple steps to take in order to reduce the risk of infection.