- The South African citizens have returned from China and are now settling into the Polokwane quarantine centre
- This comes as 14 new cases of the coronavirus were announced, bringing the total up to 38
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an urgent meeting to discuss the outbreak
South Africa has 38 confirmed cases of the coronavirus according to a statement issued by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Of the 14 new cases confirmed, 7 were in Gauteng, 6 in the Western Cape and 1 in KwaZulu-Natal.
The majority of the cases, as has been the trend thus far, had recently travelled overseas with Mkhize commenting:
“The patients have now been informed, all information has been verified and contact tracing is under way."
In the face of the escalating situation, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an urgent cabinet meeting on Sunday according to Mkhize:
“This meeting will explore ways of intensifying the country’s response to this outbreak."
Briefly.co.za reported that the mission to return South Africans home from the epicentre of the virus in Wuhan, China had been successfully completed.
Mkhize promised that an update would soon be made available, allowing the citizens an opportunity to settle in.
Discussing the reasoning for the site of the quarantine centre in Limpopo, Polokwane, Mkhize explained that
"We needed to make sure that the area is secure, nobody leaves that area, nobody enters that area. We also needed to make sure that it is an area that is livable, people can sit there and be having a comfortable daily life. In fact, the army went through 84 spots and one of the spots was in Upington."
However, this spot was a tented camping ground and the minister explained that while the SANDF may have been happy roughing it the citizens 'were not used' to such conditions.
The minister highlighted that the Polokwane quarantine centre will simply be used for the space of a few days to ensure the virus had not followed the citizens to South Africa after which they would be cleared to re-enter the general population.
Speaking directly to those who have returned to South Africa Mkhize shared a few words of welcome:
"Fellow South Africans welcome back from Wuhan, South Africa is very pleased to welcome you back from China. We are very pleased that your travelling has been safe. We have been looking forward to receiving you for the past two weeks and therefore we would like to thank President Cyril Ramaphosa for allowing us the space to help you come back to your home. You will now be placed in the Ranch and this is the place that we have arranged for you. for the next three weeks, you are going to be in this place, we just want to make sure that you are free from the coronavirus. you will also be looked after, there will be a way to look after your health to make sure you are well."
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