The Department of Health and Home Affairs have vowed to collaborate in an attempt to prevent the deadly coronavirus outbreak from spreading to South Africa. Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said that while suspected cases of the coronavirus were under investigation in the Ivory Coast and Zambia, South Africa was well prepared to halt the highly contagious disease at its borders.
No cases have yet been reported in South Africa.
Mkhize noted that his department was working closely with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) and that points of entry into the country remained the greatest concern. The minister confirmed that heat screening processes would be intensified at airports, especially on incoming flights from Asia.
While other airlines have banned travel to China, where the virus has already killed more than 130 people, South African Airways (SAA) has come under fire for not following suit.
At least 35 South Africans are still stuck in the city of Wuhan — considered to be the epicenter of the outbreak — which has since been placed under total lockdown.