- 4% of South African population is infected by HIV
- The returning citizens would be quarantined for 21 days
The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world, affecting more than 90000 individuals, and killing around 3000 of them, World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak as a public emergency and an international concern, the first case of COVID-19 was detected in China in the month of December. The disease is believed to be extremely fatal for individuals with a weak immune system, this being the major reason of why coronavirus can prove to be deadly in South Africa.
South Africa is the world leader in the active cases of HIV and ranks second in terms of TB patients, as per the report by world health organization 20.4% of South African population is infected by HIV, and only 62% of them are receiving a treatment for the disease, risk of getting pneumonia also increases by 3 fold if the person is already infected by flu, coronavirus has similar symptoms to that of flu, thus ASSAF (The Academy of Science of South Africa) believes the HIV infected population can be the worst affected by the outbreak.
While all the countries have evacuated their citizens from China, South African nation is very skeptical of bringing back the African students from China, they believe this could be the reason for the outbreak of coronavirus and the nation is not yet ready to tackle an outbreak, and could lead to heavy loss of life and create a chaos, however, the Africans are planning to bring the students back home, they just believe it is not needed given the current scenario.
Zweli Mkhize, South Africas health minister stated that 151 students have expressed their desire to return back, but the country wants to bring back its students without putting a strain on the citizens home, the ministry has developed a plan to quarantine the returning citizens for 21 days and the process of bringing the students back will be carried out by the African military over the span of 10 days.