Emirates Airlines has clarified that a statement purporting to be from the airline claiming it cancelled flights to South Africa due to coronavirus is fake.
“We would like to confirm that all Emirates flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are operating as normal,” it said in a statement.
Hello Catherine, our flights to/from Johannesburg remain operational. Feel free to DM us for any other questions.
— Emirates Support (@EmiratesSupport) March 5, 2020
There's a a statement going around about Emirates flights being canceled.
Please note, I've contacted their media team. The statement is fake! Here's their response pic.twitter.com/5G8o93lY1c
— uLisa (@anelisa_tuswa) March 5, 2020
Social media was abuzz with news Emirates had suspended all flights to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg from 7 March until further notice.
“Emirates airline sincerely apologises to all valued customers. Our customer service centre will gladly assist you with any further assistance,” the fake statement reads.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed the first coronavirus case in the country on Thursday.
Mkhize said the patient was a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in the country on Sunday.
“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab. The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children.
“The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.”