WATCH | Coronavirus: 6 key points on South Africans being repatriated from Wuhan
Health minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday led an interministerial media briefing regarding bringing SA citizens back home from China. The panel also answered questions about different aspects of the growing concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
The briefing was to reassure South Africans that the health department, as well as other government departments, are well equipped to handle the coronavirus, should it reach SA shores.
In the briefing, Mkhize confirmed that the repatriation mission to bring South Africans back home from Wuhan is set to begin soon. However, he did not disclose too many details on the when and how.
The repatriation mission comes after 151 of the 201 South Africans living in the Wuhan area requested to come home.
The SA government says repatriation is not necessary but it is responding to citizens' needs. The repatriation process will be implemented in three phases — evacuation, quarantine and reunification. The quarantine period will be a total of 21 days. Those who break the quarantine protocol will be subject to legal action.
The government has pleaded with the media and SA citizens to dispel misinformation and report accurately on the coronavirus, to avoid causing panic among the community.
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