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Pandor: Govt's priority to ensure health system ready to deal with COVID-19

International Relations and Cooperations Minister Naledi Pandor said that while government's focus remained on effectively dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, it would reach out to those stuck overseas.

FILE: International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: Dirco.

CAPE TOWN - International Relations and Cooperations Minister Naledi Pandor said that while government's focus remained on effectively dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, it would reach out to those stuck overseas.

Pandor said that more than 1,470 South Africans who were stuck overseas under COVID-19 regulations had reached out to government for assistance.

These included students, people working abroad, and tourists.

"These are people that have contacted our mission saying they're waiting for the airways to be opened so that they can travel on commercial flights, others needing help because they're stranded, while others needing need help with accommodation because they're out of residences."

Pandor said that consideration was being given to those who were stranded, the elderly and the infirm who were overseas and in need of medical treatment in South Africa.

She said that government's priority now was to ensure that the health system was ready to deal with COVID-19.

"This is the critical priority for South Africa. Of course, we're worried about our citizens in different parts of the world and the key issue is we must ensure that the resources are devoted to addressing the problem as it's beginning to develop."

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 3 April 2020 AM

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