95% of Covid-19 patients have recovered
By Khuthala Nandipha
President Matamela Ramaphosa on Sunday declared that gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited, mass celebrations of national days are cancelled, schools will close from March 18 until after the Easter weekend, visits to all correctional centres are suspended for 30 days with immediate effect and non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.
This follows the rapidly growing number of Coronavirus case, currently standing at 61. This has necessitated a travel ban on visitors from high-risk countries; mandatory testing, self-isolation or quarantine for South African nationals returning from these countries; and a strengthening of surveillance, screening and testing at ports of entry into the Republic. A total of 35 land ports and two sea ports will be closed.
“Every citizen should take charge of their own safety by observing measures such as frequent hand-washing with soap or hand-sanitizers and covering their nose or mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing,” said Ramaphosa.
Building on the stimulus and recovery plan, government will finalise a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks. The country's first Covid-19 patient is well enough to go home but needs the official clearance, according to Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health.
Since the breakout of Coronavirus in December 2019, in China alone there has been 80 761 cases confirmed. Of those, 73% are in mild condition, 27% are in critical condition, 5% have died and 95% have made a full recovery.
The medical doctor who diagnosed this first Coronavirus case in South Africa said, “This is hugely blown out of proportion. People are making a huge hysterical panic about something that is a very bad flu. Most of the people who are going to get it, will get over it like they get over the flu.”
“We are also aware of the two patients who tested COVID-19 positive on the Princess Diamond Cruise ship. They are still in Japan. The remaining crew members will remain in Japan until their enforced quarantine period has lapsed and they are cleared. They will be able to travel on their own volition thereafter,” said Dr Mkhize. He added that they are in contact with the authorities in South Korea regarding the COVID-19 positive patient who was traveling back to South Africa from the city of Daegu. He will remain in South Korea until he is cleared of COVID-19 before he may be permitted to return to South Africa.
The repatriation process of 102 South African in Wuhan City was carried out over the weekend and they have settled in, in Polokwane under quarantine and reunification.
“It is important to advise the public that the first two people in the country to test positive; the Italy ski trip couple’s children were tested and their results have come out negative. They remain in self-quarantine until their parents have tested negative. Until then, they will be regarded as potentially infected. This means they will continue not attend school,” said the Minister.