Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - The Embassy of China in Pretoria urged South Africans to avoid travelling to China’s central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic which has so far killed at least 60 people.
“Friends from South Africa are requested not to go to Wuhan for the time being, and South African friends in Wuhan now should not leave the city or return to SA at this moment,” the diplomatic mission said.
The embassy said there were designated and back-up hospitals for the treatment of the pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus in Wuhan and other places across China, and an effective response programme had been formulated.
The diplomatic mission said a large number of South African teachers in China, especially in Wuhan, were deeply worried about the epidemic.
The embassy said it would keep South Africans informed on the massive fight launched by Beijing, together with international partners, to manage and fend off the dangerous coronavirus.
The mission also urged people to check the official website of the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China for daily updates on the epidemic.
South Africa’s Ministry of Health said it had measures in place to detect, manage and contain cases of coronavirus that might be detected coming to the country.
It said there had been no cases reported yet.
“Port health professionals routinely conduct temperature screening for all international travellers. Due to the current risk of importation of inadvertent cases of 2019-nCoV from Wuhan City, China, port health authorities have enhanced surveillance of all travellers from Asia, especially China.”
The World Health Organisations’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in
areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.