Repatriated citizens need care, dignity
WITH more than 100 South Africans expected to return from Wuhan, China, later this week, criticism has been raised about the cost and need to repatriate these fellow citizens.
Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has been in lockdown for weeks as the Chinese government seeks to further control the virus which has spread worldwide.
One can only imagine the trauma and distress faced by these South Africans so far from home amid a state of uncertainty. None of those returning are sick and the Department of Health has assured the country they do not have Covid-19.
Paranoia and panic has spread as governments across the globe put in measures to control the spread of the virus – cancelling sporting or public events and stopping flights from countries where the risk of contracting the virus is high.
The panic has also contributed to bigotry and prejudice with numerous attacks being reported in Europe and the US. The repatriated citizens will be quarantined for an initial period of 21 days.
More people are conscious about their hygiene and while hand sanitisers are recommended, water and soap can also prevent the spread of the virus.
Fighting the spread comes at a cost, but humanity must prevail.
Those being repatriated deserve their right to privacy, and also to care and dignity.