- The first two South African citizens who contracted the coronavirus have finally been discharged
- KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala welcomed the news that the couple were released
- This comes after the pair attempted to take legal action claiming the state was holding them captive
The first two South Africans to be confirmed cases of the coronavirus have finally been allowed to return home.
TimesLIVE reports that KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala welcomed the news that the 38-year-old Hilton man and his wife were released.
Both had been kept in isolation after contracting the virus during a holiday to Italy with a group of colleagues.
Legal action had been taken in a bid to be released, with the state accused of holding the pair captive in quarantine.
Briefly.co.za reported that the number of cases has since risen to 202, with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warning that the situation is expected to see around 60%- 70% of the population affected.
Speaking during the first meeting of the KZN command team, Zikalala said the news of the couple's recovery 'signalled hope amid the despair and gloom':
“This development (the recuperation of the first two patients) inspires hope in line with KZN's coronavirus battle mantra 'Siyayinqoba (We will conquer) the coronavirus pandemic'.
The Premier highlighted the importance of heeding precautions detailed by the state:
“This is very important as it dispels fear among our people and confirms that coronavirus is curable through early medical intervention and through people heeding precautions laid out by government."
Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Health MEC for the province, was satisfied with the news, citing the public health care system's capability to handle outbreaks such as the current situation with the virus.
Zikalala announced that a programme will be launched next week to raise awareness and educate citizens on the coronavirus.
MECs will join the effort and visit districts to carry out assessments of readiness as well as the availability of required infrastructure.
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