We are doing our best to contain coronavirus from spreading - Cabinet
Parliament - Cabinet has assured South Africans that every precaution was being taken to safeguard the country against the spread of the coronavirus, said Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Thursday.
Addressing the media at a post-Cabinet briefing in Parliament, Mthembu said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported to Cabinet that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 17 on Thursday, after four more cases were identified.
"Cabinet reiterates the call by the World Health Organisation and Mkhize for all people in South Africa to continually practice preventative measures to stop the transmission and spread of the virus," he said.
Mthembu also called for privacy of the coronavirus patients and their families. He said the Cabinet also wished the repatriation team well. This is the crew who left on Tuesday to repatriate 122 South Africans.
"The repatriation team and repatriated South Afticans are expected back in the country this Friday, 13 March 2019," Mthembu said, adding that they would be quarantined for a period ranging between 14 and 21 days.
"We strongly caution people against attempting to make any physical contact or attempting to visit the quarantine zone."
Mthembu stressed that there should be no fear that those returning from China were carrying the virus.
"They are as healthy as you and me. They have not contracted the disease," he said.
"Nobody should be thinking that we are bringing people here from China who have contracted the disease to transmit the virus."
He added that the South Africans were being repatriated at the request of their families.
"The parents have said: 'Can you bring our kids home?'" he said.
Mthembu said President Cyril Ramaphosa would soon update political parties, and that a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the coronavirus will be held in Tshwane on Sunday.
Meanwhile, he also said Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Competition Commission on the consent agreement reached with Vodacom on the reduction of the operator's data-prices, which come into effect in April.
He said Cabinet also welcomed the ruling in the Gauteng High Court ruling to turn down the request for leave to appeal by convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a seven-year-old girl at Dros restaurant in Pretoria in 2018.
Mthembu also added that Cabinet had approved the gender-based violence (GBV) national strategic plan and establishment of the national council on GBV as well as setting up of an inter ministerial committee on GBV.