Cabinet to hold special meeting on Coronavirus

A spe­cial Cab­i­net meet­ing on Coro­n­avirus will be con­vened on Sun­day, 15 March, in Tshwane.

The meet­ing will see mem­bers of Cab­i­net address all mat­ters relat­ed to COVID-19.

Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­den­cy Jack­son Mthem­bu made the announce­ment of the spe­cial Cab­i­net meet­ing short­ly after the Health Min­is­ter con­firmed four new cas­es of Coro­n­avirus, bring­ing to 17 the num­ber of cas­es in the coun­try.

“Cab­i­net reas­sures all in South Africa that the coun­try remains on high alert. Every pre­cau­tion is being tak­en to safe­guard the coun­try against any surge of the COVID-19,” said the Min­is­ter.

In one case in the Free State, South Africa record­ed its first local trans­mis­sion.

Accord­ing to the Depart­ment of Health, a 32-year-old male came into con­tact with a Chi­nese busi­ness­man, mak­ing it the first case of local trans­mis­sion, as all oth­er cas­es have been by patients who had trav­elled abroad.

Mthem­bu also announced that Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa will update polit­i­cal par­ties rep­re­sent­ed in Par­lia­ment, as well as church lead­ers on COVID-19.

“We appeal to all to respect the pri­va­cy of CODVID-19 patients and their fam­i­lies.

“We also strong­ly cau­tion against the dis­sem­i­na­tion of any false infor­ma­tion relat­ed to the virus so to pre­vent the spread of fear, stig­ma and dis­crim­i­na­tion with­in our soci­ety,” said the Min­is­ter.

Repa­tri­a­tion

Cab­i­net also joined the Pres­i­dent in wish­ing the repa­tri­a­tion team well and the South African Air­ways crew, who depart­ed on Tues­day to the City of Wuhan, Hubei Province, in the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na, to repa­tri­ate 122 South Africans.

The med­ical team from the Depart­ment of Health and the Mil­i­tary Med­ical Defence Force forms part of the repa­tri­a­tion team.

Cab­i­net expressed its appre­ci­a­tion to South African Air­ways for their valu­able assis­tance in this repa­tri­a­tion exer­cise.

The repa­tri­a­tion team and the repa­tri­at­ed South Africans are expect­ed back in the coun­try this Fri­day, 13 March 2020.

Upon their return, they will be quar­an­tined for a min­i­mum of 14 days, to a max­i­mum of 21 days. Dur­ing this peri­od, the move­ment of peo­ple and goods in and out of the quar­an­tine zone will be restrict­ed.

“We strong­ly cau­tion peo­ple against attempt­ing to make any phys­i­cal con­tact or attempt­ing to vis­it the quar­an­tine zone.  Once the quar­an­tine peri­od ends and tests con­firm no under­ly­ing COVID-19 virus infec­tion in our com­pa­tri­ots, they will be released back into their respec­tive com­mu­ni­ties,” said the Min­is­ter.

Wash your hands

Cab­i­net also reit­er­at­ed the call by the World Health Organ­i­sa­tion and the Health Min­is­ter, Dr Zweli Mkhize, to con­tin­u­al­ly prac­tice pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures to stop the trans­mis­sion and spread of the virus.

“Mea­sures include wash­ing your hands often with soap and water or using an alco­hol-based hand san­i­tiz­er; avoid­ing touch­ing your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and cov­er­ing your mouth with a tis­sue when cough­ing or sneez­ing, and dis­pos­ing hygien­i­cal­ly of the tis­sue,” said the Min­is­ter.

Com­mon symp­toms of the virus include fever, cough and dif­fi­cul­ty breath­ing.  When dis­play­ing symp­toms of any ill­ness, indi­vid­u­als are advised to stay home and seek med­ical assis­tance.

The pub­lic is also urged to call the Nation­al Insti­tute of Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases (NICD) hot­line for any infor­ma­tion relat­ed to the Coro­n­avirus – 0800 029 999. – SAnews.gov.za

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