South Africans call for travel bans due to coronavirus increases

Travelers screened at the airport
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The number of South Africans calling for government to issue travel ban into South Africa from countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) is growing.

This after Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday that the number of confirmed South Africans who contracted COVID-19 has risen by 14 since Friday to reach 38.  Mkhize says that 7 new cases have been confirmed in Gauteng, 6 in the Western Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal. Three of the newly confirmed cases are of people over 70-years-old.

It was recently announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Sunday chair an urgent meeting of Cabinet that will discuss ways to limit the spread of the coronavirus from travellers coming into the country.  There are suspicions that Ramaphosa will recommend that all mass events in the country be cancelled or postponed in an attempt to contain the spread of the pandemic.


Organisations calling for government to issue travel ban

There have been calls by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to impose mandatory 14-day quarantine on all travellers coming into South Africa from the worst-affected countries.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on government to implement a ban on all travel into South Africa from countries hardest-hit by the COVID-19, particularly Europe, which has been declared as the new epicentre of the pandemic.
The party has also called for all infected patients of the COVID-19 in South Africa to be quarantined by the state, preferably in Robben Island.

EFF spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya government needs to act urgently, “A special facility must be immediately identified and prepared for medical care of all persons infected. It is irresponsible and utterly dangerous to allow unmonitored self-quarantine. This did not work in other countries and will obviously not work here. Coronavirus will sweep all over our country with a supersonic speed all because government lacked the courage to quarantine the infected. Finally, we call for a ban on travel from all coronavirus-infected countries, in particular Europe.”

The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) is calling on the government to effect a travel ban to “adequately” deal with the pandemic.

YNITU says if government fails effect a travel ban, it will withdraw the labour of its nurses from the front line.

“We have heard of nurses from a clinic in Sedibeng who came in contact with a person who was confirmed to have the virus. The patient went to the clinic and was referred to a hospital but at the hospital, the patient was discharged and was told its just minor flu. This is despite the patient having indicated that they had come in contact with a person from Italy. The patient later came back and it was only during that time that they diagnosed them and put them into isolation,” says YNITU.

Full statement from Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union


Video| Reporter Chriselda Lewis says South African citizens repatriated from China  have been tested

Here are some of the reactions from the public calling government to issue travel ban