The 112South Africans, who were evacuated from Wuhan in China on March 14, have been given the all clear to reunite with their families today, March 29, after tests for Covid-19 came back negative.
“All citizens from Wuhan and those who have been in quarantine in Polokwane will return home today. The Ranch is now a green zone”, wrote Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize on his official twitter account.
South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking to the repatriates at The Ranch earlier today said that he was happy that all of them including volunteers at the ranch hotel will be going home healthy and coronavirus free. “I am happy to see you, alive and healthy, I have spent sleepless nights over you. We are delighted that you are back home, but we are also delighted that you are coronavirus free” says Ramaphosa.
“When we spoke to the Chinese government, they were a bit concerned saying that they were looking after you, but we said we want our own people back home in South Africa and we insisted that you should be brought back home that’s when we come up with this operation and we are delighted that it was so well executed”, added the president.
Ramaphosa thanked and congratulated members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Airways crew that were part of the mission to repatriate the 112 from Wuhan. “Thank you on behalf of all South Africans for saying yes, when you were sent. You agreed to undertake this dangerous mission to the epicenter, to the real heart of the Corona virus,” Ramaphosa says.
South Africa currently has 1 187confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has embarked on a 21-day lockdown which started on March 26.
The SANDF, which has been deployed to assist local police officers in enforcing the lockdown, have had their hands full trying to get people to stay off the streets in some parts of the country. Addressing the media yesterday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said 225 people have been arrested in the Western Cape alone. 55 people were reportedly arrested on the first day of the lockdown alone for offences ranging from loitering to buying or selling alcohol.
The World Health Organisation is appealing to people to adhere to regulations by staying home and practicing good hygiene through regular hand-washing with soap in order to contain the disease. – Health-e News