Coronavirus: Govt to get assistance from SANDF health division

Locally, government announced on Friday has launched an emergency operations centre to pick up any suspected cases around the clock.

FILE: OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Picture: Acsa

JOHANNESBURG - Government will be getting assistance from the military’s health division at ports of entry from Friday to help officials screen people for the coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation has declared the situation a global emergency. Locally, government announced on Friday that it has launched an emergency operations centre to pick up any suspected cases around the clock.

So far, no South African has been suspected of contracting the virus but two South Africans have been quarantined in China.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said military doctors have been on the ground from Friday to assist port health officials to screen people crossing the border for any coronavirus symptoms.

“…To work with us so that we can actually reinforce manpower in the various ports of entry where we think we need additional support.”

The emergency operations centre is now open with more staff being roped in to monitor developments and take calls from concerned doctors or South Africans.

Several hospitals have been identified across the country to deal with any possible coronavirus cases.

They have been instructed to detect and isolate patients as soon as possible.

The virus originates from an animal and the incubation process is about 14 days.

A look at the spread of the deadly coronavirus which has already claimed more than 200 lives and been declared a global health emergency by the WHO.

Authorities say more research needs to be done to understand how and why the coronavirus is spreading, while scientists race to develop a vaccine.

More than 200 people have died in China since the outbreak last month while more than 9,000 detected cases have been reported worldwide.

Meanwhile, two people have tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom.

According to BBC, they are both members of the same family and are receiving specialist care.

No more details are being released about their identity or where they are being treated.