Preparedness to contain spread of Coronavirus at OR Tambo International Airport satisfies Committee

The committee has concluded a useful monitoring exercise of the Port Health Facility at the OR Tambo International Airport to assess the preparedness of the authorities to screen and detect cases of COVID-19.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health says it’s satisfied by the level of preparedness of the Department of Health, the sophistication of medical equipment, as well as the professionalism and competency of port health staff in carrying out their responsibilities.

It must be made clear that South Africa follows strict guidelines established by the World Health Organisation in screening travellers.

The committee has concluded a useful monitoring exercise of the Port Health Facility at the OR Tambo International Airport to assess the preparedness of the authorities to screen and detect cases of COVID-19.

Chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said: “We are reassured of the ability of the Department of Health and the Port Health Services to carry out active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of COVID-19 infections. It must be made clear that global research into the virus is ongoing to enable authorities to understand and possibly find a vaccine for the virus.”

Dhlomo adds: “Furthermore, more research will ensure conclusiveness on the incubation period of the virus. Research on the incubation period might help us explain the first case of the virus in South Africa and on how the patient passed through the screening process.”