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Coronavirus: South Africa charges patients who refused to self-isolate with attempted murder

Coronavirus: South Africa charges patients who refused to self-isolate with attempted murder
March 25
21:55 2020
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The South African police on Wednesday charged two men with attempted murder for allegedly going out after testing positive for coronavirus.

Bheki Cele, the country’s police minister, announced the charges on Wednesday during a press conference.

Cele said their actions exposed others to the infection. The first patient arrested is a 52-year-old salon owner who was said to have been diagnosed with coronavirus on March 18 and instructed to quarantine for at least 14 days.

Vish Naidoo, police spokesperson, said officials received information that the man was seen around Ladysmith area.

“On March 24 at approximately 15:30, Ladysmith police officers received information that a man who allegedly tested positive with coronavirus came in contact with other people in Ladysmith area.

“The same man travelled to various countries to South Africa. On his return on March 18 he was tested positive with the Covid-19 and was instructed to self-quarantine for at least 14 days pending the blood results.

“However the man allegedly continued with his business since March 21 and in doing so disregarded the instructions by a doctor thus allegedly contravening regulations in terms of the National Disaster Act pertaining to the Covid-19 virus. He was removed to a hospital where he is currently being treated.

“The matter was discussed with the senior public prosecutor for the matter to be postponed in absentia to avoid further contamination.”

The second charge was reportedly filed against a male tourist who tested positive for the disease while on holiday at Kruger National Park.

He reportedly ignored instructions to remain in his hotel and went to Saint Lucia town where he interacted “with an unknown number of people”

With 709 cases, South Africa has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the continent but no death.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced a 21-day lockdown across the country after the cases increased.

All shops and businesses are to close, with the exemption of pharmacies, laboratories, banks, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare providers.

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