Cruise ships will no longer be allowed to dock in South African ports, to reduce the risk of contagion and spread of the Covid-19.
South Africa is barricading itself a little more every day against the coronavirus. 1 700 tourists have been stranded since March 15, 2020 on the cruise ship AIDAmira, in the port of Cape Town. Since March 18, the country's land and sea borders have been closed. Schools and higher education establishments also, religious and sports gatherings prohibited. Small additional screw turn: “From today, no cruise ship will be allowed to dock in South African ports”said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at a press conference in Cape Town, a tourist and port city in the southwest of the country.
The approximately 1,700 people, mainly German tourists and many Italians, are currently detained in the port of Cape Town, without being able to disembark. South African authorities fear the presence of people carrying Covid-19. Six passengers who were likely to be contaminated were finally tested negative, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said on March 18. If this is confirmed and no case is found, the people on board the boat which flies the Italian flag will be able to descend to shore in the coming days.
To date, South Africa has 116 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Most concern patients recently returned from abroad. South Africans who have visited countries at risk since mid-February are systematically tested, but the number of local infections (of South Africans) is increasing. South Africa, where no deaths have yet been recorded, is, along with Egypt, the officially most affected country in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa, as we know, has close ties with China and Europe, the two main centers of the epidemic.
In addition, these figures must be taken with great care because, like everywhere else, the number of cases is most certainly underestimated.
If South Africa, like Senegal or Kenya, seems a little better armed than others in terms of health infrastructure, there is nothing to say that they will be able to cope with an overwhelming influx of patients.