File Picture: (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
File Picture: (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

'I am sorry' : KZN businessman who came back from Germany with coronavirus

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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Durban - A SOUTH Coast man, who was the first to test positive for the coronavirus in the area, says it has been a tough time for him, as he deals with the negative reactions from some people.

Johan Kinsey-Ahlers from Ramsgate, the co-owner of a car dealership, said his biggest concern was for his family and the people who had been around him at his workplace.

“I have had some positive and some negative reactions from people,” he said. He said he was in self-isolation, which was proving tough to adjust to, as he loved taking walks.

In a statement, Kinsey-Ahlers said he travelled for a business event in Germany in mid-February.

He went to Munich on February 25 and returned to South Africa on February 29.

“There were very few cases reported in Germany at that time and no travel restriction in place. I was scanned at the airport on my return, and was clear.

“I have had no symptoms in the past three weeks and even this past week. There was no quarantine instruction for Germany at the time, and still none at the start of this week, as far as I know,” he said.

Kinsey-Ahlers said he had not displayed any symptoms before or after his positive test was confirmed on Friday.

He had only had himself tested after President Cyril Ramaphosa urged all who had travelled abroad to do so, because he had been scanned on his return and had no symptoms.

“I can only apologise for the impact of this on so many in our community and can only ask for your understanding and ongoing support at this time, as this also has a major impact on my family, our business operations, staff and friends. I assure everyone that this is not something I would intentionally put on anyone.

“I believe that it was only a matter of time before this would have reached our community - I do feel terrible that it has come through me. Together we trust and pray that we will get through this. We have been part of this community for more than 21 years and hope we can continue to be and also, in turn, continue to rely on our community’s understanding and support,” he said.

The dealership followed all hygiene protocols at all its businesses, and a lockdown was effected on Friday.

Kinsey-Ahlers said they had partnered with a local doctor “well versed in these circumstances” to implement a disaster management plan.

Meanwhile, the Arcadia vessel, owned by P&O Cruises, stopped at Durban harbour on Sunday.

The vessel was denied entry to Cape Town last week.

It was in Durban to refuel and stock up on supplies, and is expected to set sail today for Southampton, England.

Passengers were not allowed to disembark.

The MSC Orchestra docked in Durban on Friday, after setting off on a cruise last Monday.

MSC Cruises said “all passengers and crew are in good health”. Passengers were scanned, but none were placed in quarantine.

Daily News

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