Officials from the departments of health and defence who were sent to Wuhan to repatriate 121 South Africans from the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic. The picture of the team was shared on Twitter by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who said they were in high spirits.
Officials from the departments of health and defence who were sent to Wuhan to repatriate 121 South Africans from the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic. The picture of the team was shared on Twitter by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who said they were in high spirits.

SA citizen rescued from Wuhan pens heartfelt letter thanking repatriation team

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Mar 14, 2020

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Johannesburg - A South African citizen rescued from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city in China has penned a heartfelt letter thanking the repatriation team for risking their lives to rescue them. 

A South African repatriation team which included members from the Department of Health, SANDF and SAA, returned in the country on Saturday after rescuing more than 100 locals who reside in Wuhan - the previous epicenter of the coronavirus. 

In an unsigned 100-word letter which was handwritten in a brown papered notebook, the rescued citizen thanked the team for risking their lives for them. 

The letter was posted on the official Twitter account of the National Health Insurance, a pending project of the national health department.

“On behalf of the evacuees, (we) can’t thank you enough for taking this beautiful huge risk. I’m sure some of your families disagreed with your decision but regardless of that, you came to fetch us. 

“I personally don’t have words to thank all of you. We may not be able to pay you back for this, but there is someone above us who sees our work and bless(es) us abundantly. 

“We (are) really happy to be home. Thank you for taking care of us. Your names will always be part of our history. 

“May God bless you and your families,” the letter read. 

The repatriates will be kept at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane for at least the next three weeks, where they will be placed under quarantine as a precaution. 

None of them have tested positive for the coronavirus, but it is understood that should any person test positive at the resort, they would be removed from the resort and isolated. 

The resort is under strict police and military guard and the public has been warned from stepping foot near the area. 

Soldiers and police guard the entrance, Friday, March 13, 2020, to the venue where repatriated South Africans from Wuhan China will be held in quarantine near Polokwane, South Africa. For most people the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo)

Meanwhile, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday announced that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa had jumped to 38 from 24 on Friday.

He said President Cyril Ramaphosa would convene an urgent Cabinet meeting on Sunday where ministers would discuss ways to deal with the rapidly spreading coronavirus within South African shores. 


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