March 5, 2020 / 1:39 PM / a month ago

South African health minister says health system will be tested by coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Zweli Mkhize, seen as a potential candidate to replace President Jacob Zuma as African National Congress head at a party conference in December, gestures as he speaks to students at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Roodeport, South Africa October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s health minister warned on Thursday that the country’s health system would be tested by the coronavirus, after it earlier confirmed its first case.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said citizens quarantined in China will be returning home in the next few days.

Addressing lawmakers in Cape Town, he added that South Africa was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other institutions to help diagnose the virus, called COVID-19, across Africa.

“I think we need to be upfront about it ... Our system will be tested by the impact of coronavirus,” he said.

Reporting by Wendell; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Vuyani Ndaba

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