President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the repatriation of SA citizens from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the rapidly evolving coronavirus epidemic that has disrupted global trade and hammered financial markets.

The South Africans have been confined to Wuhan since mid-January after Chinese authorities imposed a strict quarantine to try to contain the spread of the virus, known as Covid-19. There were 199 South Africans estimated to be in Wuhan, and 132 of them had expressed a desire to be repatriated, the president said in a statement issued on Thursday evening. They would be quarantined for 21 days, he said, but did not disclose the location nor when they would arrive.

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