114 SA students repatriated from Wuhan are ready to go home
Johannesburg - The more than 100 students who were repatriated from Wuhan earlier this month are ready to go back home, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has revealed.
Speaking to the media in Pretoria on Saturday, Nzimande said the group would be evacuating from the The Ranch Resort in Polokwane in the coming days ahead of being transported home. The students were kept in quarantine at the hotel as a precaution, with none of them showing any coronavirus symptoms.
The students were repatriated from Wuhan after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he would be sending a SANDF-chartered flight to repatriate the students whose parents had appealed to government for assistance.
At the time, Wuhan was under lockdown, with no commercial flights allowed to leave or enter the city.
“The 14-day quarantine period for the 114 South African citizens repatriated from Wuhan City in China ended on Friday, 27 March 2020. The Department of Health is working on the modalities for their release home.
“The department is responsible for transporting the students to their respective provinces and to ensure that they are reunited with their families,” said Nzimande.
Nzimande said transport had been secured to transport the group home from Monday.
He said another group of 80 TVET students who had been doing work-based training in China, had been quarantined at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Kempton Park and was being taken care of by officials.
He said two pupils tested positive for TB, but they were negative for Covid-19 and remain under quarantine.
“The students at Birchwood will be transported back to their homes once their quarantine period is over. Clearance letters have been prepared for transportation arrangements to be facilitated.
“In addition, a circular has been sent to all colleges on the requirement for all students to be placed in a quarantine facility following their return from placements abroad,” he said.
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999IOL