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SA Health Dept ‘taking necessary precautions’ to deal with coronavirus

At least 106 people have succumbed to the virus with most deaths recorded in China.

FILE: Passengers wear protective masks to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus as they arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, California, on 22 January 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South Africa is taking the necessary precautions to make sure it's ready to deal with the deadly coronavirus with the tightening of travellers screening particularly from China.

At least 106 people have succumbed to the virus with most deaths recorded in China.

*READ: Factbox: The new coronavirus - what is it and how does it behave?

The number of infections has also almost doubled to more than 4,500 in just the last day.

South African officials said that they had measures to identify detect and respond to any cases.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has stressed that OR Tambo and Cape Town International were the only ports of entry with direct flights from Asia.

Health Ministry spokesperson Popo Maja said the body temperatures of passengers were being monitored as they arrive.

“Once we see that the person has an abnormality in body temperature, then that person is isolated and taken into a clinic of the airport and taken to the nearest facility where blood tests and screening are done.”

Maja said passengers were also screened before boarding in China.

Last week, the department provided doctors with guidelines on how to manage a possible coronavirus case.

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