Health Minister to brief South Africans on coronavirus

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Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize will on Wednesday brief the media on the coronavirus that’s sparked anxiety around the world.

On Tuesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reassured South Africans that measures are in place to detect and keep people safe from the deadly virus.

More than 100 people have died since the outbreak in China so far. Australia and the US have also confirmed cases of infection.

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged countries on the continent to start applying preventive measures.

Meanwhile, a South African mother of two who is quarantined with her family in Wuhan, China, has described the situation there as dire.

The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection.

“So, it’s tense to say the least. We do not leave the apartment unless we have to go and buy food. Every community has a designated taxi. The last time I left home was last week. I had to go back to my school to get some masks. Our head office in Shanghai had sent some respiratory masks for each of the staff and their families,” says the woman, who wants to remain anonymous, on safety measures she and her family are forced to take.

Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping says the country is confident it will defeat the virus that has killed 106 people.

The United States says it is expanding screening of arrivals from China from five to 20 airports. Washington says it will also consider imposing further travel curbs.

US Health Secretary Alex Azar says, “All options for dealing with infectious disease spread have to be on the table, including travel restrictions.”

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 – Additional reporting by Reuters