6 March 2020
A misleading article in today’s edition of the Mail & Guardian misinforms readers and the general public about government’s handling of the repatriation of South Africans and goes against the paradigm of responsible journalism. The article casts aspersions on the work of government on the repatriation process of South African nationals from Wuhan, China by an unnamed source.
Government maintains that the Terms of Reference for the provision of an aircraft for the repatriation includes trained crew members to assist the passengers. This is in line with civil aviation regulations which requires trained and registered crew members to assist the passengers on the plane.
The discourse in the article about SANDF officials is also deceptive, as all hands are on deck to ensure a smooth repatriation process of our people. Government reassures all South Africans that government is on track with the repatriation process. All services that are required for the repatriation are being finalised and the public will be informed accordingly. Government reiterates that all South Africans that will be repatriated are not sick and that the World Health Organisation’s protocols for the repatriation will be adhered to.
Government calls upon citizens to remain calm and spread truths about the virus to overcome the global challenge of misinformation in the public domain. Every person must practice responsible behaviour to contain the spread of COVID-19.
This includes: regular washing of hands with an alcohol based hand rub or wash them with water and soap, maintain a 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing and sneezing, and ensure that surface are wiped and kept clean. More educative information can be accessed on:http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/…
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