Mkhize: Refusal to follow quarantine rules could result in legal action

After the confirmation of the second case of COVID-19 in SA, the health minister has issued a warning to those who may fail to comply with quarantine regulations.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (L) at a press briefing on 7 March 2020 on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in South Africa. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday warned that people who refused to comply with quarantine regulations following the confirmation of two COVID-19 cases in South Africa could be taken to court.

On Thursday, it was announced that a KwaZulu-Natal man (38) who had travelled back from Italy last Sunday was the first confirmed case in South Africa.

The second patient is a 39-year-old lady from Gauteng who had direct contact with the first case from KZN. She was part of the group of 10 that had travelled to Italy.

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“If someone doesn’t cooperate we have a way of making sure that we will even take the matter to court to get them to comply with the quarantine regulations,” Mkhize said in an interview with Eyewitness News.

The minister has been at pains to explain that government is prepared to deal with a possible outbreak of COVID-19.

Mkhize said the second patient to test positive for coronavirus would be admitted to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. He said more details of her well-being will be divulged in due course.

Mkhize also appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news saying that wouldn’t assist the situation.

“South Africans would be anxious when they are not sure what is happening, but the fact that we are releasing information is to ensure that the public doesn’t panic and that we have a systematic way of managing any infection that is diagnosed,” he said.

He said so far they had tested more than 300 people and called on the public not to panic as government had the situation under control.

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