South Africa’s government has said that two of its nationals have tested positive for Coronavirus.
These nationals were working aboard a cruise ship, Diamond Princess quarantined at sea in Japan.
At the end of January a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus. That forced officials to quarantined the ship for a four-week period.
According to South Africa’s health ministry, Japanese officials revealed that the two patients are being treated in Japan.
They did not outwardly display symptoms of the virus though, according to Japanese officials.
In a statement South African authorities said the vessel the South Africans were on board had at least 3,700 people.
It said the cruise ship which arrived in the Japanese port of Yokohama at the end of January had 12 South African crew members on board.
The Health Department official, Lwazi Manzi said “The two South Africans who are affected with Covid-19 are currently being treated in Japan and they will remain there until they are fully cleared to travel.
The other 10 are not going to be permitted to leave the ship until the others have left.”
Already South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered that all South Africans living in Wuhan, China be evacuated back home.
The order follows the continuous spread of the deadly coronavirus in China and beyond which isn’t slowing down.
Wuhan is the city where the outbreak first started and has been on lock down for weeks with foreigners stranded without adequate help.
More than 78,000 cases of the respiratory disease have been recorded including three cases in Africa.
In a statement Ramaphosa said “It is estimated that there are 199 South Africans citizens in Wuhan as per the latest consolidated list from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
At this stage, 132 of them have expressed the desire to be repatriated.”
The statement further said that “None of the affected individuals has been diagnosed with the virus nor have they exhibited any symptoms thereof.
Upon arrival in South Africa, they will be placed in quarantine for 21 days as an additional precautionary measure.”