Travel ban not on cards for SA amid coronavirus outbreak

A travel ban is not yet on the cards for South Africa as a means to deal with the coronavirus. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and national health department officials have been briefing MPs on the country's readiness to deal with a potential outbreak. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - A travel ban is not yet on the cards for South Africa as a means to deal with the coronavirus.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and national health department officials have been briefing MPs on the country's readiness to deal with a potential outbreak.

93 000 people have been infected with the virus globally, but there have been no confirmed cases here.

Mkhize told Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health that government is ready to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak. 

READ: Measures in place should coronavirus reach SA: Mkhize

Several African countries have already been affected.

“Africa has recorded at this point about six cases, maybe seven cases because Egypt was the first and it has confirmed a second case, Senegal, Algeria, Nigeria, Morroco and Tunisia have also recorded those cases. Of the seven cases, four of those cases have a history of contact with Italy,” Mkhize said.

MPs have questioned whether South Africa's healthcare facilities are able to deal with a disease of this magnitude. 

Coronavirus: Expert says South Africans shouldn't panic

"I’m just concerned that some of our public health facilities don’t have sufficient running water. God forbid if anything has to break out and a patient has to go to these hospitals. How are we going to cope?,” said DA MP, Haseena Ismail.

But the health department has assured MPs it has stepped up its game in ensuring facilities are prepared.

Coronavirus in SA: Not if, but when says expert

13 hospitals have been earmarked as designated treatment centres for COVID-19. 

Officials also say the plan to expatriate South Africans living in China is still being ironed out and there's no clarity yet when this will happen.

A debate will be taking place in Parliament this week on the state of readiness for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Source
eNCA

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