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Why repatriate possible coronavirus carriers from Wuhan to SA?

SAA airplane at the Polokwane International Airport carrying 122 South Africans who were repatriated from Wuhan, China. Image credit: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

By BO Staff Writer

A repatriation group including the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Department of Health, and South African Airways (SAA) members, returned via SAA flight ZS-SND Airbus to South Africa (SA) on Saturday 14 March with 114 SA citizens who had been residing in the Wuhan city in China, where the coronavirus epidemic initially broke in December last year.

The repatriates are currently kept under quarantine at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane where they will remain for three weeks. It is reportedly “understood” that those testing positive would be removed from the facility and kept in isolation.

In the meanwhile except for paying lip service to restricting and controlling travel; preventing more than 99 people from gathering; and asking people to sanitize their hands, self quarantine, and reduce physical contact with others – the SA government seems to be encouraging rather than preventing the pandemic from spreading.

Black First Land First (BLF) President, Andile Mngxitama, responded to this issue on social media:

“So the moronic clueless government of Ramaphosa actually went to Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, to get scores of people who may potentially be infected and bring them to SA? They will unleash these people upon the villages in Limpopo soon. They say all are negative – I don’t believe jack from this Ramaphosa government.

“Anyway even if all those who have returned were found to be negative, they now have a real chance of getting infected in a country which is woefully underprepared to deal with the virus. So people were brought from Wuhan to get coronavirus here?

“By the way life is returning to normal in Wuhan. It makes no sense to remove people from China – which has the experience of curing those infected, preventing the rise of infections, and stabilizing the country – and bring them to SA where the coronavirus epidemic is on the rise and the government isn’t serious about addressing the crisis.

“The things Ramaphosa does don’t make sense,” Mngxitama said.

China has partnered with Cuba which has the necessary medication – the Cuban Interferon alfa 2B (IFRrec) – to treat those infected and restore the health of the nation.

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