UPDATE | Remaining Japanese cruise liner SA staff still undergoing quarantine - Health Department

2020-03-05 14:41
A member of the media wearing a face mask walks past the Diamond Princess cruise ship at Daikoku Pier where it is being resupplied and newly diagnosed coronavirus cases taken for treatment.

A member of the media wearing a face mask walks past the Diamond Princess cruise ship at Daikoku Pier where it is being resupplied and newly diagnosed coronavirus cases taken for treatment. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

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The remaining 10 crew members of the Japanese cruise liner, Diamond Princess, were still undergoing quarantine, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday.

"The other 10 were quarantined on board the ship and are now being tested in batches with the rest of their colleagues before being disembarked. They will still undergo 14 days quarantine in Japan before being granted leave to travel," said spokesperson Dr Lwazi Manzi.

The South African government was alerted by Japanese authorities through the South African embassy in Tokyo on 25 February that 12 South African crew members working on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship were affected by Covid-19, as reported by News24.

READ: Two South Africans test positive for coronavirus on Japanese cruise ship

Two members earlier tested positive for Covid-19, but had since been given the green light to return home following treatment.

According to News24, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting director-general Phumla Williams said the pair had since tested negative for the virus.

Manzi said those who were treated and had tested negative would be allowed to travel on commercial flights.

ALSO READ:  2 South Africans infected on coronavirus-hit Japanese cruise ship given green light to return home

Meanwhile, South Africa was also expecting 151 of its 200 citizens to be repatriated from Wuhan - the city where the deadly virus originated from. Sixteen had opted to stay in the city while others were still being tracked.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a briefing on Sunday that citizens who had not tested positive for the virus and were healthy still had "to go through a 21-day quarantine period".

ALSO READ: Coronavirus repatriation: This is SA's plan to quarantine 151 citizens returning from Wuhan

On Thursday, the health department confirmed that the country has its first positive case of Covid-19.

"The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in the statement.

"The patient consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough."

The patient has been self-isolating since 3 March.

Read more on:    diamond princess  |  south africa  |  japan  |  covid-19  |  coronavirus  |  cruise ship
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