South Africans are not happy with the way the Government is handling the COVID-19, Coronavirus. Yes, we are not supposed to panic and cause chaos, but having said that – with the increase of coronavirus cases in South Africa, the government still reassures the public that everything is under control.
“I think it is too early [to call for a travel ban]… So, let us keep watching how this thing carries on. The government will keep our people informed at all times,” said the President of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Economic impact when lives are at stake is not something South Africans can put up with. Is the situation really under control? This is the question that can be taken off every book concerning the COVID-19 as it has been officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some parts of the world are on lockdowns, such as Italy, China, Denmark (second European country to impose lockdown), and the Mauban municipal government has ordered the temporary lockdown of Cagbalete Island and other tourist sites due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Norway is on lockdown following a rapid increase in the positive cases of COVID-19, the US may order a lockdown for the country.
Back in South Africa, there are no travel bans yet.
At the beginning of March, President Cyril Ramaphosa had declared that South Africa is ready and prepared to deal with any cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19. South Africa is currently dealing with 24 cases of coronavirus
“The spread of the coronavirus to SA will have a huge impact on travel and a negative impact on the already struggling economy,” Said the President.
- On the 5th of March 2020, the first coronavirus was confirmed in South Africa, a man who had visited Italy.
- On the 7th of March 2020, The South African Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize confirmed a second case of the COVID-19, Coronavirus. The infected person was a 39-year-old woman from Gauteng, who was part of the same travel group to Italy as the first case.
- On 08 March 2020, the wife of the first man to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in South Africa had also tested positive
- On the 9th of March 2020, the number of people who tested positive jumped to seven patients.
- On the 11th of March 2020, there were 6 more cases, making a total of 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa
- On the 12th of March 2020, 3 more cases were confirmed, giving a total of 16 confirmed cases, (Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has clarified that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 16 and not 17 as he had previously indicated.)
- On the 13th of March 2020, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize confirms 8 more cases – Giving a total of 24 confirmed cases.
“The Coronavirus has arrived in South Africa, let us UNITE and fight this disease together. Please wash your hands using soap and water or disinfectant. Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. For more information call hotline 0800029999.” The National Department of Health to the citizens of South Africa.
Probably every South African has received the message, the coronavirus is so far limited to four provinces only (KZN, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Free State); and all the local cases involve people who have been overseas and traveled to SA.
The Minister of Health also indicated that there will be more cases. Currently, 114 SA citizens repatriated from Wuhan lands in Polokwane and will be quarantined for 21 days. The Limpopo Department of Health released a statement urging South Africans to not treat compatriots as patients.
“They are not sick, nor have they presented a case definition of COVID-19. Let’s refrain from calling them, patients. They are going to be quarantined for 21 days at the Ranch Hotel as a precautionary measure.”
“Health MEC Dr. Phophi Ramathuba is making a call to all South Africans to desist from sharing negative stories about COVID-19, but instead help share positive information that might help other people. She further urges the public to remain vigilant and follow the standard recommendations to preventing the infection spread by regular washing of hands with soap, covering mouth and nose when sneezing, amongst others.” They added.