- The South Africans returning from China have not tested positive for the coronavirus
- Nevertheless, they will be required to live in quarantine on their return to the country
- Meanwhile, citizens will now be able to get tested for the virus privately from Monday
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed the process to source accommodation for the South Africans being brought home from China.
Commenting on the operation to repatriate the citizens from the epicentre of the outbreak, Mkhize commented:
“We wish to reiterate that none of the affected individuals has been diagnosed with the virus nor have they exhibited any symptoms thereof. As an added precautionary measure, it was decided that upon arrival in South Africa, these citizens will be placed in quarantine."
The Citizen reports that the facility, once chosen, would have stringent military security measures in place. The minister explained that this would ensure those living nearby would not come into contact with those in the camp, protecting them from potential exposure.
Mkhize assured the nation that the government remains committed to transparency during the outbreak:
“We will not renege on this commitment. But we also need the media to respect that people’s lives are involved. They also have a right to privacy.”
TimesLIVE reports that as of Monday citizens can obtain testing for the coronavirus at private laboratories instead of through the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
Lancet Laboratories' clinical virologist Professor Eftyhia Vardas explained that the continued spread of the virus had increased the demand for testing.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhize had confirmed the second positive case of the virus, this time a 39-year-old woman in Gauteng.
In a statement issued in response to the case, the minister revealed that the woman had been in contact with the first confirmed patient, a 38-year-old man from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
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