SA army's plans to bring back South Africans from Wuhan in full swing

2020-03-03 22:01
SA army.

SA army. (GCIS)

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The Department of Defence says preparations to bring back South Africans from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China are at an advanced stage.

On Tuesday, department spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the departments of health and international relations would assist in repatriating those who wanted to come home.

"There are approximately 151 citizens who are set to be repatriated," Dlamini said. "Once all the logistics have been confirmed by the planners, the repatriation process will then commence," he added.

The process is expected to take between seven and 10 days to complete and will be undertaken using World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

It will be implemented in three phases - evacuation, quarantine and reunification.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Tuesday said there were still no cases of coronavirus in the country, but expressed concern over the disease's spread in Africa.

READ | Coronavirus: SA man describes life in quarantine

On Monday, AFP reported that Senegal confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus. This is the second confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, where an Italian national reportedly returned with the virus.

"We have noted the increase of COVID-19 cases in the African region and the route of transmissions. An additional country - Senegal - has confirmed its first case from a French national in the past 24 hours," NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh said.

The NICD added that, as of Tuesday, 164 tests have been conducted for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), of which 118 had met the definition of the disease. All tests, however, came back negative.

Read more on:    south africa  |  coronavirus
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