Two South Africans who were part of the Princess Diamond cruise experience have tested negative for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Ministry of Health.
Infected South Africans test negative for coronavirus
While the coronavirus has yet to infiltrate our shores, it has recorded the infections of two South Africans who were on board the cruise ship which was forced to dock in Japan after the virus broke out in the confined space, infecting a total of 705 people.
“The cruise ship arrived in the Japanese port of Yokohama with 3 700 people on board. On February 1 it was announced a patient who had disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25 had tested positive for coronavirus. This began a quarantine period on board the ship, which officially ended on February 19.
“It was only at the end of the quarantine that the South African government was alerted about the 12 South Africans who were among the crew members on board the ship.”
According to the health department’s spokesperson Popo Maja, 10 other South African crew members were allowed to disembark the ship after they tested negative.
The repatriation arrangements of the 10 survivors have been left with their employer to sort out. Of course, this is after they spend 14 days in a quarantine site, in Japan.
The health department had described early tests of the two South Africans as ‘asymptomatic’, meaning that they were showing no symptoms of the coronavirus.
Will they be allowed into the country?
Maja, careful to not reveal too much information, said that the department received updates from Japan stating that the two South Africans had, after days of treatment, tested negative for coronavirus.
No confirmation has been made on when the pair will be allowed to come back home, or whether they will have to be quarantined in South Africa as well.
Asked if the government will play a part in repatriating them to South Africa, Maja said:
“The private companies that hired [them] will decide on that.”