South Africa will not evacuate nationals from Wuhan

South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addresses a press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday 29 January 2020

South Africa will not evacuate its nationals from Wuhan City, China, following the coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wedesday.

“The government of the People’s Republic of China has reassured us that there is no evidence to support the necessity to evacuate foreign nationals living in Wuhan City,” Mkhize wrote on Twitter.

The minister added that South Africa had heightened its surveillance in its major airports to screen passengers arriving from China.

Cheryl Cohen, an official in the South African health ministry, confirmed that there was no case reported in the country, but any suspected cases would be quarantined.

The number of people who have died from the coronavirus hit 132, with 6,078 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, 29 January 2020. 115 people have been discharged.

Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week expressed confidence that the disease will be defeated in due course.

“I have personally been directing the effort and deploying resources, I believe that as long as we strengthen our confidence, help each other, control and prevent the virus appropriately, and implement policies precisely, we will definitely overcome this disease,” President Xi said in a meeting with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom.