WC Health officials reassure residents on readiness to deal with coronavirus

The Western Cape Health Department said that it was working on the philosophy of when, not if, a coronavirus case was detected.

Western Cape Health Department officials giving an update on the province’s readiness to deal with the coronavirus (Covid-19) on 2 March 2020. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Health Department officials said that the system was fit to deal with possible coronavirus cases.

On the back of an announcement by the Presidency that more than 150 South Africans would be repatriated from Wuhan in China, medical experts said that they were well prepared.

More than 3,000 people have died and at least 89,000 people have been infected with the virus, which was spreading across the globe.

The Western Cape Health Department said that it was working on the philosophy of when, not if, a coronavirus case was detected.

Officials once again assured residents that it was ready to deal with any possible cases.

Dr Wayne Smith, head of Disaster Medicine and Special Events said that they were creating a very patient-centered approach to deal with possible cases.

"The system is robust in that it's been tested in the past. It's not something brand new that we're dealing with for the very first time."

Thirty-two suspected cases were tested in the province and all results came back negative.