Six new Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in South Africa, bringing the total in the country to 13, the Health Minister says.

Reports say the new cases are in the provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape and involve people who have recently returned from trips to Europe.

“Those who are symptomatic have started receiving treatment, Some of these patients are already in hospital while some, specifically those who are asymptomatic, are in self-quarantine. Contact tracing has also started for all these cases,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, a plane has left South Africa headed to China’s Coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan to repatriate more than 120 citizens stranded there since the outbreak began in January.

“Go with speed, with God and bring our children back home,” President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly told the dozens of military staff and health officials boarding the flight at Johannesburg’s main airport on Tuesday night.

The plane is due to stop over in the Philippines first to refuel, before heading to China and scheduled to leave China on Friday then land in South Africa later that day. The mission will cost almost $1.6m (£1.2m), according to a letter President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote to parliament.

A total of 122 South Africans are to be repatriated, authorities say. That’s fewer than the 180 people who originally said they wanted to be brought back.

According to a government statement those who dropped out decided to “stay on at their respective commitments”,and South African authorities said in a statement that none of the people being repatriated have showed any signs of Coronavirus infection, , but they will all be subject to a 21-day quarantine period.

Bbc News


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