Mkhize appeals to South Africans not to cause panic over global spread of coronavirus

Dr Zweli Mkhize
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Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has appealed to South Africans not to cause unnecessary panic over the global spread of the coronavirus. Mkhize was speaking in Sasolburg in the Free State during the launch of a new female condom called MAXIMA, on Saturday.

Mkhize says experts in the designated areas are ready to respond adequately if the coronavirus were to spread even further across the world and be classified as a pandemic.

Video: Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s appeal

South Africans in China set to return home 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday ordered the repatriation of nearly 200 South Africans from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

They are expected to return home on Sunday morning. The Inter-Ministerial Committee dealing with the repatriation and quarantine will also hold a media briefing to give an update and more details on the planned mission.

Upon arrival back home, they will be held in quarantine to ensure that they do not have COVID 19.

Two South Africans tested positive for the coronavirus after working on a Japanese cruise ship. The South African government says the two will remain in Japan until their health improves. A

The COVID-19, as this new strain of the coronavirus is called, is thought to have originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan late 2019. It has infected about 80 000 people and killed more than 2 700, mostly in China.

In the video below, the World Health Organisation (WHO) gives an update on the state of the coronavirus in Africa. 


Minister Mkhize says experts in designated areas are ready to respond if the coronavirus were to spread further across the world and classified as a pandemic.

“It’s not fair that people must start creating sensation around one town, one area, any part of South Africa where we believe that it’s suitable; we must actually accept that. These are South Africans; even if they are not, if someone needed to be quarantined they will have to go there. So we must get out of our minds that there’s a territory where everyone starts saying don’t bring them here. These are human lives we are dealing with. People must be very sensitive.”

In the video below, 132 South Africans are to be repatriated from China as ordered by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Africa readiness 

The World Health Organisation says South Africa is well resourced to cope with any outbreak of the Coronavirus and the WHO is working with South African authorities regarding the activation of necessary resources if required.

South Africa has been classed as a priority-one country because of a large number of travellers to and from the country – among other things.

The WHO is offering urgent support in certain areas regarding preparations to deal with the coronavirus.

The WHO in Africa says it has been assessing the continent’s preparedness. On the African continent, cases have been confirmed in Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria.

Below is a map of designated hospitals to deal with the possible coronavirus outbreak in South Africa. 


Mixed reactions to SA preparedness

South Africans have mixed reactions to government’s preparedness in the event of it reaching the country’s shores. Others feel that the government is doing enough.

“Our government has done enough to make sure that we are safe from coronavirus. That is why we haven’t heard any reports of it in our country.”

However, others are not that optimistic. “I feel like not much has been done; these people should go to schools to educate our children and even produce books.”