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South African in Wuhan: 'I'm looking forward to it being over and being free'

28 February 2020 11:58 AM
Tags:
China
Coronavirus
COVID-19
South Africans repatriated
Amy Pittaway says she is most looking forward to it all being over and being able to eat biltong or have a proper braai.

The Presidency announced that 132 of the 199 South Africans are to be repatriated from Wuhan, the city in China at the centre of the coronavirus COVID-10 outbreak.

The virus has resulted in 78,596 cases and 2,746 deaths within China and has spread to 44 countries with 3,246 cases and 51 reported deaths outside of China.

None of those retuning have been diagnosed with the virus.

We found out last night just after the press conference.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

She says they are receiving communications but it is just the start of the process so the details are not yet available to them.

All I know is we are going to stay in a hotel. I'm not too sure where the hotel is. I'm not sure when we are leaving or how much it is going to cost.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

They have emailed us and asked us to send in our details - our ID numbers and that kind of thing so that we can be put on the list, so they can see who is actually leaving and who is not leaving.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

I know the Americans had to pay some money towards their plane tickets, and I think the British had to pay something towards their quarantine as well - so there could be a cost involved but I am hoping that there is not.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

She says the apartment buildings have been closed off so that residents can no longer go to local shops to buy food.

Everything is delivered through what they call community leaders.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

The 200 -300 residents living in her building has one person to deliver food.

But I am pretty much still doing what I was doing last week, sitting on my bed, doing work, and watching series.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

What is the one thing Amy is looking forward to upon her return to South Africa?

Knowing it is going to end...knowing there is a time limit...that we will be in quarantine...and then we are free.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

I don't like the uncertainty.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

The quarantine will be 21 days in South Africa, she says.

What's she most looking forward to when she is back home?

Eating biltong! I really want biltong or a proper braai.

Amy Pittaway, South African living in Wuhan

Listen to Amy below:

Acting DG in the Department of Health Dr Anban Pillay talks to Clement Manyathela on The Midday Report.

What we have seen is that the epidemic is not under control yet and the lockdown remains...so for that reason, we have decided to bring the South Africans back. The initial expectation of how the illness will be managed has not happened.

Dr Anban Pillay, Acting DG - Department of Health

He says the proposed lifting of the lockdown in Wuhan in two weeks' time on 10 March is dependent on control of the infection.

So the lifting of the lockdown is not firm. A number of dates have already passed where it was not lifted.

Dr Anban Pillay, Acting DG - Department of Health

Pillay agrees the situation is emotionally trying for people living there confined to their quarters but does not believe they are in danger.

We have prepared a place for them when they arrive.

Dr Anban Pillay, Acting DG - Department of Health

He says upon their return, the South Africans will be in a 21-day quarantine and after testing negative for the virus will be reunited with their families.

Two South Africans working on a Japanese cruise ship who have tested positive for coronavirus are being treated in a Japanese hospital and are asymptomatic...and will hopefully recover like with normal flu.

Dr Anban Pillay, Acting DG - Department of Health

Manyathela also speaks to a student in Wuhan Kamohelo Taule about his experience.

Listen to the interviews below:


28 February 2020 11:58 AM
Tags:
China
Coronavirus
COVID-19
South Africans repatriated

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