While President Cyril Ramaphosa directed the evacuation of South African citizens in China following the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak on Tuesday, The Ranch Resort near Polokwane has been identified as a quarantine proximity point for these citizens.
The establishment was identified following a breakdown of talks over the initial quarantine point, which was in the Free State, reports Polokwane Review.
It is currently estimated that 122 South African residents will be landing at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday.
There was a consolidated list of residents from the department of international relations and cooperation.
In a media statement released before the send-off, Ramaphosa stated that none of the citizens tested positive for Covid-19, or showed symptoms.
They will first be evacuated from China, then quarantined in South Africa and then reunified.
“Upon arrival in South Africa, they will be placed in quarantine for 21 days as an additional precautionary measure,” the president said.
Ramaphosa said plans are in motion to ensure proper screening and quarantine for the returning citizens.
Paul Shearer, the general manager of The Ranch Resort, confirmed that the establishment was identified as the quarantine proximity point.
He did, however, stress that the location would be used for quarantine purposes, and not for patients who needed to be in isolation.
“We will be a quarantine facility where the patients will be observed for 21 days. The Ranch, however, is not a facility for infected patients. Those of which [who have] the slightest possibility of having contracted the virus, will be accommodated elsewhere.”
Contacted for comment, health MEC spokesperson Thilivhali Muavha said they would wait for the national health ministry to officially make an announcement on the location where the group returning from China would be housed.
“It is important to mention that there is no infected person who will be entering the country. These residents are only going to be quarantined in order to observe the 21-day window period.”