Staff at 3 hospitals 'trained' to deal with possible coronavirus outbreak

Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Tembisa Hospital have been identified to deal with any patients that test positive.

FILE: Former Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku. Picture: @BandileMasuku/Twitter

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku has assured South Africans that the three public hospitals identified to deal with a possible outbreak of the coronavirus are equipped and prepared to deal with any confirmed case.

The virus, which broke out in China last month, has killed more than 170 people while more than 7,000 others have been infected.

Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Tembisa Hospital have been identified to deal with any patients that test positive.

A map showing countries and territories where cases of the China virus have been confirmed as of 28 January, 2020. Picture: AFP

A map showing countries and territories where cases of the China virus have been confirmed as of 28 January, 2020. Picture: AFP

Masuku said staff were trained to deal with a possible outbreak, saying it was the same team that was on standby during the Ebola outbreak.

“We only require space for isolation and a ventilation machine. We were ready to deal with the Ebola outbreak and will deal with the coronavirus in a similar way, bearing in mind that it’s a different airborne virus.”

Meanwhile, classes at Cape Town’s China International School have been suspended.

It’s a precaution amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Is a virus living or not? Check out the fact file below on viruses, which are among the most abundant organisms on the planet. Picture: AFP

A fact file on viruses, which are among the most abundant organisms on the planet. Picture: AFP

The school teaches Mandarin to both locals and Chinese nationals. Every Saturday, around 240 learners from Grade R to Grade 12 gather at the school’s venue in Milnerton.

Pupils already began schooling in January but took a break for the Chinese New Year Celebrations.

Principal of the China International School Iris Wu said they would only reopen on 25 February.

“The China New Year is coming to an end now. Cape Town will welcome a group of Chinese pupils and their parents.”

Wu said they had consulted with teachers and parents and decided to suspend schooling for two weeks.

This will allow travellers from China to be medically checked should they present any symptoms ahead of the school’s opening.