The OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA)
The OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA)

ACSA says it's ready to deal with coronavirus detection

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 6, 2020

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Johannesburg - Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has outlined its increased measures to deal with possible cases of the coronavirus.

The company held a briefing ahead of a site visit to OR Tambo International Airport by Parliament's portfolio committee on health. The MPs were given a private tour of Acsa's security measures put in place to deal with the virus.

The country has been gripped by concern as on Thursday the health department and the National Centre for Communicable Diseases (NCDC) announced the first case of coronavirus in the country.

The patient is a 38-year-old male from KwaZulu-Natal who had travelled to Italy with his wife. Mkhize said the man and his family were quarantined. He arrived in the country on March 1 and only began showing symptoms on March 3.

The man had presented no symptoms when he arrived in the country and only began showing symptoms three days after he returned.

The patient has been in isolation. He had consulted a doctor when he presented symptoms of a fever, headache, malaise and a sore throat and a cough.

The coronavirus, known as Covid-19, has sent fears around the world since it was first detected ‪on December 31‬ in Wuhan China. The virus is believed to have been contracted from animals. Over 3000 people have died from the virus which has spread through various countries.  

Questions have been raised about how the man and his friends, whom he travelled with, had not been detected. The health department is working on tracking the other people that had travelled with the man.

Acsa said it had increased its measures at all of the country's 72 ports of entry.

Some of the measures to be implemented include; checks at terminals at then airports and at least three port health officials to meet all high-risk flights.

Following the site visit; portfolio committee chairperson Sibongiseni Dlomo said MPs were pleased with the measures Acsa had applied to deal with the detection, isolation and response to the coronavirus.


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