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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have issued a response to the coronavirus pandemic, criticising the government’s handling of confirmed cases.
So far, 24 South Africans have tested positive for the deadly virus, while a further 122 are due back in the country from Wuhan, the Covid-19 epicentre, in the weekend.
The citizens, who have been repatriated from China will, upon landing, be sent for quarantine at Protea Hotel’s The Ranch Resort in Polokwane.
The EFF have slammed this move, suggesting that state quarantine be prioritised for confirmed cases instead of those yet to test positive.
“It is ironic that over 130 South Africans from Wuhan who have been confirmed not to be infected will be under forced, state quarantine. Yet, people who are infected are allowed to ‘self-quarantine’. This shows the inconsistency and absolute incompetence South African government policy on the spread of the virus,” EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said in a statement.”
The red berets have gone as far as recommending what it sees as suitable sites for state quarantine.
The party named Robben Island – the former maximum-security prison which held political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela – as a possible site to send those infected with the coronavirus.
“It is clear that South Africa does not have a special coronavirus facility to commit the infected persons to. This, Robben Island or a special facility must be immediately identified and prepared for medical care of all persons infected with coronavirus,” he said. “It is irresponsible and utterly dangerous for the government to allow unmonitored self-quarantine. This did not work in other countries and will obviously not work here. Coronavirus will sweep all over our country with supersonic speed, all because the government lacked the courage to quarantine the infected.”
The novel coronavirus broke out earlier in the year and has since infected close to 150 000 people, with the death toll crossing the 5 000-mark.
South Africa recorded its first confirmed case on 1 March, and the number has risen steadily in the past week.
The EFF cautioned the government against what it deems a lack of action.