LIVE BLOG: 'No country can ever stop coronavirus from reaching its shores' - Mkhize

Parents at the Cowan House Prep where the children of the man who has been diagnosed COVID-19 attend are being addressed by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

WATCH LIVE: Coronavirus Media Briefing in KwaZulu-Natal

"We are on top of the situation," Mkhize says.

Mkhize says government would not recommend closing schools.

"Sout Africans can face this and deal with it. We can fight this together," he says.

"No country can ever stop coronavirus from reaching its shores. It's not a failure in the health system," Mkhzie says. He adds we shouldn't squabble about weaknesses in our health system.

Mkhize refutes a report by the Mail and Guardian that the SANDF has refused to head to Wuhan to facilitate the evacuation of citizens.

Mkhize says they are pleased with the way the Hilton community has responded to the situation.

"The best way government can fight coronavirus is an alert community which responds to guidelines... that doesn't stigmatise those that are affected," he says.

"Government is in a position to deal with it [the virus]," Mkhize says.

Mkhize's department will also address the Grey's Hospital staff.

The patient's family will be tested at home.

"The patient is not very sick," Mkhize says.

"We will not be testing any of the children in the school," Mkhize says.

"We need our communities to work with us as we address this problem," Mkhize says.

Those who were on the same flight as the patient are urged to come forward as well to be checked. If any of them are also positive, they will be isolated.

If the patient tests positive, those who have been in contact with him will be tested and may be isolated.

Anyone who has been in contact with them are being observed.

The patient's family has been visited by a team from a team which is trained in contact tracing.

Mkhize again against spreading fake news.

The patient was sent to Grey's Hospital for isolation. Any other case that has been noted is fake news, Mkhize says.

Mkhize says the patient came into the country with no symptoms, hence nothing was picked up at the port of entry. He only developed symptoms later.

The public and private sector are both aligned to work together, Mkhize says.

Parents have been informed about the coronavirus timeline since it was first detected. They've also been told how government is tackling this.

Mkhize says they came to speak to parents in the wake of the confirmed case so that misinformation does not cause panic.

Mkhize says the meeting at the school included community members, school prinicpals, councillors and various government departments.

The briefing has now started.

Local ward councillor in Hilton, Craig Miller, says a lot of disinformation has already been shared on social media and he's asked for this to stop as it may cause a lot of unnecessary panic. 

Journalists have been allowed inside the school. Mkhize will gove a live briefing after he has addressed parents.

Minister Zweli Mkhize is at Cowan House Preparatory School.