South Africans Call on Government to Issue Travel Ban to Contain Coronavirus Outbreak
President Cyril Ramaphosa, however, says it is "too early" to issue a travel ban with regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.
South Africans are calling on their government and President Cyril Ramaphosa to issue a travel ban to prevent the further importing of the coronavirus by travellers from hard-hit countries as well as South Africans returning from those affected countries.
President Ramaphosa has however stated that it is still "too early" to issue a travel ban and instead advised South Africans to remain on "high alert" and take the necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa currently stands at 16 and not 17 as was initially reported, after a patient who was thought to have the coronavirus recently tested negative. Only one of those cases has been the result of local transmission. The rest of the cases have been the direct result of a group of 7 South Africans who travelled to Italy and upon returning to the country, all tested positive for the coronavirus.
While the group has since been quarantined, a number of those who had been in contact with the group, have subsequently contributed to overall figure.
African countries including Uganda and Lesotho have already implemented travel restrictions. While Lesotho has banned international travel altogether, Uganda has suspended flights from high-risk countries including the US, UK, China, France, Italy and several others. However, it is unlikely that South Africa will follow suit.
Having recently entered a technical recession, and with the negative effects of the outbreak already affecting tourism, President Ramaphosa may be attempting to prevent further economic distress. Many feel however, that the move may exacerbate the growing public health crisis in a country where millions are already affected by tuberculosis and HIV and therefore vulnerable to COVID-19.
Admittedly, the majority of the cases in each affected African country has been a result of international travel.
Take a look at some of the reactions from South Africans on social media below:
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