Wuhan repatriation flight leaving SA tonight

Wuhan repatriation flight leaving SA tonight

The Wuhan repatriation flight is set to leave OR Tambo International Airport this evening for the Chinese city which is the epicentre for the coronavirus outbreak.

Italian citizens arrive at the Cecchignola quarantine center, south of Rome, on February 3, 2020 after being repatriated from the coronavirus hot-zone of Wuhan and landing at the nearby military airport of Pratica di Mare.

According to a statement issued by government, the flight will bring home 122 South Africans. 

"It must be noted that originally the Government received over 180 requests from the citizens residing in Wuhan to be repatriated back to South Africa."

"Over time and having made consideration of personal circumstances, some South Africans indicated to government their decision to rather stay on at their respective commitments in Wuhan."

A flight crew and a total of 15 officials from the Departments of Health and Defence will be on the mission flight. 

The government says the plane will stop over the Philippines to refuel and for the crew to rest before continuing the journey to Wuhan. 

"Upon arrival, the team will work with our Chinese counterparts but also the staff of our Embassy in China, screening our repatriates and checking required travel documents.  The flight will leave Wuhan City at the early hours of the morning and land back in South Africa on 13 March 2020.  In due course, announcements will be made about the arrival of the South Africans home."

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team says the ex-pats will be placed under quarantine for 21 days as soon as they are back in the country. 

The quarantine site will be announced in due course. 

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