Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has expressed concern over job losses in the sector due to fears of further spread of the coronavirus.
The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa is now 16, with no reported deaths.
Infographic of confirmed cases in South Africa:
More than 128 000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in 118 countries across the globe, with at least 4 600 deaths.
Kubayi-Ngubane says jobs are being lost in the tourism sector, as major events continue to be cancelled to help stem the spread of the virus.
She says, “We can’t say generally there aren’t going to be job losses, there are job losses as we speak. Those who support the tourism sector, either temporarily or on a contract basis, are already starting to feel it because they are going to sit at home and there are no major events that are happening.”
“Those who are going to be part of the La Liga football summit in Durban next week are affected because they were supposed to be working next week, and they are not working. So such things are going to happen. The issue for us is to be able to evaluate how much impact and our response to it so we can limit the effects to ordinary South Africans,” Kubayi-Ngubane adds.
In the video below, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane speaks to Morning Live in Limpopo:
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says all systems in place to receive South Africans from Wuhan.
About 122 South Africans are expected to land on Saturday.
The army has identified the Ranch Hotel and Resort in Polokwane as a suitable quarantine area for those returning from China.
Mkhize says if any of the South Africans who are going to be repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan is diagnosed or has symptoms of coronavirus, they will not be allowed on the plane.
“We have said that those who would have been to hospital and were treated and diagnosed positive or are having symptoms, all those will not get on to the flight, they will need to meet with the Chinese health authorities so that they can get the necessary attention. Only the ones that will come in are those that have no symptoms, have no record of having been diagnosed positive with the coronavirus.”
In the video below, Zweli Mkhize speaks about the repatriation route:
He says the aircraft will land at The Ranch as there is an airstrip that is big enough to accommodate the plane.
“The General was given the specifications amongst which was the number of people that need to come back to South Africa. They need to come back to a site that is away from human habitation, there must not be communities nearby so that there are no mistakes of people wandering into the quarantined area. Thirdly it must be an area that is so isolated if it is possible to create two lines of a parameter security patrol. There will be patrols by the army, there will be patrols by the police.”
In the video below, Minister Zweli Mkhize addresses the media about the quarantine plans: