Unfortunately countries with porous borders, including South Africa, will not detect the coronavirus if people access borders illegally
THE CORONAVIRUS has countries across the globe concerned, especially with the growing ease of connectivity in terms of transportation and economy due to globalisation.
The message from Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize to all South Africans was that there is no need to panic. “South Africa has not reported or suspected cases to date. Research into the epidemiology of the virus or natural history of the virus is ongoing.”
Mkhize said there was a suspected case in Zambia, but he reassured that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases was keeping a close eye on developments.
Mkhize said the country is adequately prepared to handle an outbreak of the coronavirus, with port officials conducting thermal screening for all travellers.
Unfortunately countries with porous borders, including South Africa, will not detect the coronavirus if people access borders illegally.
Mkhize is confident the country is prepared to detect, manage and contain any cases of novel coronavirus should it come to South Africa, but the management of travellers is dependent on them arriving at controlled harbours and airports.
Illegal border access is an unfortunate reality, and one that must be addressed in the wake of how the spread of communicable diseases could potentially become even easier through global connectivity.