- Dr Zweli Mkhize has urged South Africans to avoid spreading fake news over the coronavirus
- This comes after the first confirmed case of the virus was announced in the country
- China has since offered to help SA in dealing with the outbreak
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Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has called on citizens to prevent the spread of fake news over the coronavirus.
After the announcement that the virus has reached South Africa, Mkhize says the media has been 'bombarding' his office with queries over the situation:
"I would like to ask our people to desist from spreading fake news. We are now getting voice notes, I have seen reporters printing stories when they don't have formal confirmation from the government. There must not be any misunderstanding of information. We have just one case. One, nothing more than that."
READ ALSO: Fact Check: No, face masks won't protect you against the coronavirus
In other news, China has confirmed that it's poised to help South Africa tackle the outbreak.
Briefing the media on Friday after the first case was confirmed, Chinese ambassador Lin Songtian said his nation is now fully experienced in dealing with the virus:
“We are ready to do within our best capacity whatever you need and we are ready to fight with you until we bring coronavirus to an end.”
The nation has recorded a decline in new infections, turning its attention instead to the main concern of containing the epidemic and preventing its spread across the globe, reports eNCA.
Briefly.co.za reported that there is a mission underway to repatriate citizens who are stuck near the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan.
Mail & Guardian had claimed a source close to the operation had divulged how South African National Defense Force members were allegedly refusing to go to China.
Mkhize has since denounced the claim, adamant that to his knowledge the operation was on track and its participants willing:
"As reported, mutiny in the Defence force is lies. I spoke the Minister and Chief of Defence and they both dismiss this as lies."
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently confirmed that the operation would set taxpayers back R25 million.
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