A total of 184 South Africans living in Wuhan, China, have asked to be evacuated by the SA government as a precaution amid the coronavirus outbreak there.
Most are students, teachers and other professionals working in the city, according to a government statement.
At this stage, only seven South Africans in Wuhan have opted to remain in Wuhan City.
“The aircraft with the capacity to bring back the citizens in Wuhan has been secured,” the government said.
A team with officials from various departments, including health and the military will be on board.
“They will be working with the Chinese authorities to screen the group of South Africans before they depart the epicentre of Wuhan. With the support of the South African Embassy in China, a ground transport plan is being put in place to ensure that all citizens who are to be evacuated are safely brought to a central collection point from where they will be transported home.”
Negotiations with a number of service providers to serve as a quarantine area have not yet been concluded, said the government.
This is despite reports of a lodge in the Free State being identified as a possible site for the 21-day quarantine the repatriated citizens will be subjected to.