Families of South Africans from Wuhan won't be able to visit them in quarantine

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said following the President's directive, of the 201 citizens in Wuhan, 151 want to be evacuated and 16 have opted to stay.

Dr Zweli Mkhize addressed an inter-ministerial committee briefing on the country's plan to evacuate citizens and quarantine them locally. Picture: Department of Health.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans at the epicentre of the coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China will be flown home in seven to 10 days, said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize addressed an inter-ministerial committee briefing on the country's plan to evacuate citizens and quarantine them locally.

Mkhize said following the President's directive, of the 201 citizens in Wuhan, 151 want to be evacuated and 16 have opted to stay.

He added the Department of International Relations and the SANDF will lead the process.

All the people that will be evacuated and those that will be deployed will be quarantined until for a minimum of 14 days and no one, including family members, will be allowed contact with them until they test negative.

However, Mkhize has appealed to the media and the public to treat all those evacuated with respect because the quarantine does not mean that they are infected.

Of the 80,000 cases in China, 32,000 have recovered, 46,000 are still on treatment and 2,900 have died - a 3% mortality.