Coronavirus: Government in contact with South Africans left behind in Wuhan

2020-03-16 14:26

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says government will be monitoring South African citizens outside the country, including those still in Wuhan who were not able to board the plane.

Speaking at an inter-ministerial briefing on Monday, a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a state of disaster in light of the coronavirus outbreak, Zulu said government was in contact with the remaining South Africans in Wuhan, as well as their families.

Last week, 122 South Africans in Wuhan, China – the initial epicentre of the outbreak – were repatriated.

"There are four particular cases of those who could not board the plane. I can imagine the pain, having been left behind.

"But we are in contact with them, they are in a good space and we have been in contact with the families of the four."

Special hub: All you need to know about coronavirus in SA and the world

Zulu said the department would be organising counselling sessions for those infected, monitoring them once they were healthy, providing education against stigmatisation.

She added that her department would also be affected by the shutting down of schools.

"We have stakeholders who we have to engage because we’ve got child and youth care centres, shelters, one-stop centres, treatment centres, and these will all be affected by the president’s announcement."

Zulu said her department would be engaging with all "stakeholders" going forward.

"Cleanliness and hygiene is not something government can do by making announcements, our citizens must step up," she said.

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Read more on:    lindiwe zulu  |  limpopo  |  wuhan  |  coronavirus  |  health
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