South Africa’s Govt. to quarantine returnees from Wuhan

South Africa’s government will quarantine dozens of citizens who’ve asked to be repatriated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.

There are 201 South Africans currently living in the Wuhan area, 151 of whom indicated they wish to return home, Mkhize told reporters Sunday in Johannesburg. While all of those being repatriated have tested negative for the virus, they’ll be quarantined for 21 days as a precautionary measure, he said.

The emergence and rapid increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, pose complex challenges to the global public health, research and medical communities, write federal scientists from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their commentary appears in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The United States and other countries instituted temporary travel restrictions, which may have slowed the spread of COVID-19 somewhat, the authors note. However, given the apparent efficiency of virus transmission, everyone should be prepared for COVID-19 to gain a foothold throughout the world, including in the United States, they add. If the disease begins to spread in U.S.

89,252 cases are reported so far, 3,058 deaths, and 45,216 recoveries.

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