Yellow fever checks to resume soon

2012-11-27 22:41

Johannesburg - Checks for yellow fever at Lanseria and OR Tambo International Airports will soon be reintroduced, the Gauteng health department said on Tuesday.

"The department assures the community that this matter will soon be resolved and apologises profusely for any inconvenience caused during this labour dispute," it said in a statement.

The checks stopped because staff conducting them refused to work, claiming they had not been paid overtime and night-duty allowances.

The department said it was making money available to correct this and was also going to introduce a shift system to ensure there was no recurrence of the problem.

According to the World Health Organisation, yellow fever is a virus which is usually transmitted via mosquitoes.

On average 30 000 people a year die of the virus, most of them in Africa. There is no specific treatment.

According to a 2011 document on the national health department's website, there is a risk of the disease being introduced into South Africa.

On Monday, Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Jack Bloom said in a statement that the checks were being neglected at the two airports.

Bloom said the Gauteng health department was failing to protect citizens from exotic diseases carried by those entering South Africa.

"We could import all kinds of serious diseases because of [a] lack of controls at these airports, especially over weekends," Bloom said.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-11-28 07:25

    Have we not breeched some international law by not stopping the spread of infectious diseases? Tomorrow we have a yellow fever outbreak, costing how many lives and zillions of rands to curb, and all because of someone not knowing the basics again. The responsible person/s need to be jailed for putting us all at risk

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-28 07:50

    This dereliction of duty has put all of South Africa in jeopardy and just like the case of police selling ammunition should be regarded as a case of treason. This apathy by government officials has to come to an end.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-11-28 08:14

    This has been an ongoing saga for more than a year. Who is ultimately in charge of health and border security? Who is the man that appoints the ministers? Instead of blaming it on one of the faceless drones, how about looking in the direction of an arrow pointing at a compound.......

  • Lucky - 2012-11-28 09:17

    where is Ehrenrich now, drumming up support for people not even represented by his union, what an A@#hole. has this been the case for 1 year already? unbelievable!! i travel into africa and customs all over never fail to check my certificate but it has never happened on my return, never!

      klasie.kitshoff - 2012-11-28 09:27

      and useless. I hope Oliphant grinds him for interfering. He still does'nt know who started the farm strikes - totally confused!!

  • bibi.vanzyl - 2012-11-28 10:32

    I live in Kenya and in the last 3 years nobody has ever checked my yellow card.

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