How South Africans are coping being locked up all day in China amid coronavirus

Winslow and Terri-Ann Forbes Picture: Facebook

Winslow and Terri-Ann Forbes Picture: Facebook

Published Feb 13, 2020


Cape Town – A South African living in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus is thought to have originated, said he was thankful he and his family remained healthy.

Winslow Forbes has been teaching in Wuhan since last year, and lives there with his wife and two children.

“The government has restricted movement in that only one person per family is allowed out every second day or so to get supplies.

“Many shops are out of perishables. Thankfully, we found one further away from where we can purchase vegetables and other goods.”

They were concerned about their health, but were positive.

South Africans in the region had banded together, he said. “The South African chat group compiled a list on Wednesday evening, and there were 78 of us in Wuhan. There may be more added now.

“Many of my colleagues who went on vacation can’t travel back to Wuhan and they are stuck. The government hasn’t said anything about this coming to an end soon. 

"Ten days ago, they predicted another two weeks, but nothing (information) as yet.”

Zintle Mtamzeli, who teaches English in Jiangsu, a coastal province north of Shanghai, described the situation as “bad” and said what she wanted most was to be with her family. 

“It is very frustrating to be locked up in the house the whole time. All I want right now is to be with my family. What you see on TV is not a real reflection of what life is like; living it is rough.”

South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases encourages the public to undertake measures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections. “We recommend practising hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

“In addition, people should adhere to avoiding close contact with people suffering from respiratory illness, wash their hands frequently, avoid markets where live animals are sold, and travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practise cough etiquette.”

Cape Times

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