Air China plane picks up 'medical supplies' in South Africa, no risk says Acsa

2020-02-05 08:30
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A cargo plane from Air China landed at King Shaka International Airport on Tuesday.

According to Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), the plane was picking up much-needed medical supplies to be flown back to the novel coronavirus-hit China. 

VIRUS TRAVEL ADVISORY: Hong Kong reports first related death 

The plane was empty with only nine crew members. 

"As with the situation of the crisis all precautions and steps were implemented by port of health authorities and government agencies," senior manager of corporate affairs Colin Naidoo from Acsa told Traveller24. 

"All airport personnel that were involved with the flight were properly attired with the necessary personal protective equipment."

Acsa will be releasing more info about the amount of cargo at a later stage. 

flight radar path of air china plane in durban

(Image: FlightRadar24)

Spread of novel coronavirus

The coronavirus is spreading at lighting speed, as it has infected more than 14 000 people across China and caused 360 death, up about 56 deaths since Sunday. 

The latest figures from China show there are over 17 000 people infected in the country.Outside mainland China, there have been more than 100 infections reported in around two dozen places. 

Here's where 2019-nCoV has been confirmed: 

No reports of infections are known or being treated in South Africa to date, with Southern African neighbour Botswana being the closest country to treat a suspected case of the virus. 

SA's ports of entry have stepped up measures to ensure airports with direct flights to and from China have the necessary monitoring stations setup. 

Screening people at airports for signs of for high temperatures isn’t likely to detect too many cases, health experts say, since the disease incubates for about 14 days, once the host is infected. 

However, the Department of Health says, "South Africans are assured that measures are in place to detect, manage and contain any cases of Novel Coronavirus should it come to our shores. So far, there are not suspected cases reported.""Port health professionals routinely conducts temperature screening for all international travellers. However, due to the current risk of importation of inadvertent cases of 2019-nCoV from Wuhan City – China, Port Health authorities have enhanced surveillance," says the department of health. 

Compiled by Gabi Zietsman

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