The South African government has reportedly initiated the process of repatriating some of its citizens who have been stuck in the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan, China.
Is there a cure for coronavirus?
Two months into the global pandemic and virologists are nowhere near finding a vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although, a genetics engineering company in Texas, the US, claims to have developed a cure for the virus.
The claims, however, have not yet been verified by global health bodies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and besides, the company has yet to embark on animal trials.
According to daily situation reports published by WHO, 81 109 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally. China carries the biggest threat, with 78 191 confirmed cases, 412 of which were detected in the past 24 hours.
Risk assessments suggest that outside of China (with very high-risk alerts), the global pandemic is considered a great threat.
South Africa prepares to repatriate citizens stuck in Wuhan
As reported by Mail & Guardian, following significant deliberations, the South African government has decided to take action in repatriating some of its citizens stuck in the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city.
The reports have yet to be confirmed by the government. However, sources close to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster claim that an agreement has been reached between Police Minister Bheki Cele, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, to repatriate South Africans for the Hubei province.
Currently, there are about 199 South Africans who are stuck in Wuhan. According to the cited publication authored by Thanduxolo Jika, only 132 have asked to be evacuated, while 13 have chosen not to leave.
The government is apparently still trying to track the remaining 54 people believed to be from South Africa. Speaking in an interview with eNCA, Jika revealed that the plan is to return the South Africans to the country and send them to a quarantine site believed to be in the Free State.
“A facility has been identified even though the confidential reports don’t say which place they’ll be quarantined at. South African National Defence Force officials had gone to Thaba Nchu to inspect the place for purposes of quarantine,” Jika revealed.
The government has yet to issue a statement on the validity of these reports.
“SA doesn’t have the capacity to manage quarantine sites”
Fears have mounted within the healthcare sector of South Africa, with many experts claiming that the country does not have the capacity to deal with a coronavirus outbreak.
Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson of the South African Medical Association (SAMA), warned that South Africa does not have the means to run quarantine sites.
“The important quarantine is self-quarantine. It costs less to quarantine people in their specific surrounding rather than a large number on a ship or coming with a flight,” she indicated.
So far, South Africa has managed to keep the virus outside of our borders. For how long, is the question that remains unanswered.