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SA govt readying measures to fight stigma around coronavirus

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said that they were planning to distribute more information on the coronavirus to make sure the public did not get caught up in fake news about the virus.

People wearing protective face masks use an escalator in Hong Kong on 9 February 2020, as a preventative measure after a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Government said that it was aware of the stigmas around the coronavirus and was hoping that better communication and public information would help with this.

There have been no confirmed cases in the country but fear and anxiety was spreading as the Covid-19 virus was still infecting people globally.

More than 3,000 people have now died since the outbreak last year.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said that they were planning to distribute more information on the coronavirus to make sure the public did not get caught up in fake news about the virus.

"We are very much aware of some of the challenges of the stigma."

As South Africa waits to welcome home more than 150 citizens who will soon be evacuated from the coronavirus epicentre in Wuhan, China, several people back home were taking extra precautions when it came to general hygiene in public spaces.

On social media, the majority have welcomed these citizens back, however, not everyone was standing with open arms.

Someone criticised the government for "gambling with our lives to bring them back" while another called the decision a tragedy, asking why they could not stay in China.

Government said that once the South Africans arrive back home, they would all be placed in quarantine under strict conditions as a precautionary measure.

WATCH: SA Chinese community faces racial stereotypes amid coronavirus outbreak