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Opposition parties react to second coronavirus case diagnosed in SA

South Africans have been strongly encouraged to continue following hygienic practices such as regular handwashing to fight against the rapid spread of the disease.

This undated handout picture courtesy of the British Health Protection Agency shows the coronavirus seen under an electron microscope. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Saturday said the Department of Health needed to let the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) communicate details around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

“It is important that the Department of Health is led by the NICD because the institute is best placed to deal with such diseases. But, it is also important that we urge travellers, especially those that come from countries like China and Italy, to make sure that when they come back home that they regularly check with medical practitioners,” said EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.

Coronavirus: Your must-have checklist

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said there was some reassurance from the fact that the second confirmed case of the virus came from the same group of South Africans who were known to have travelled to Italy.

“It is slightly reassuring knowing that these are people who had travelled to Italy together and part of the same group, and not a separate case. We are calling on the Department of Health to ensure that the NICD has enough capacity in order to process these cases faster so that people are informed and assured of the various cases should they arise,” said DA MP and spokesperson on health Siviwe Gwarube.

The president of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), Vuyo Zungula, said hygiene would forever remain a problem because some areas in South Africa didn’t have access to clean water.

“Our concern with the second coronavirus case which has been confirmed in South Africa is that the key thing to defeat this virus is to keep good hygiene. But, we’ve got a water issue in our country in areas like Hammanskraal, Butterworth, and QwaQwa where there is a lack of water facilities.”

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