A plane has left South Africa headed to China’s coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan to repatriate more than 120 citizens stranded there since the outbreak began in January.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the dozens of military staff and health officials boarding the flight at Johannesburg’s main airport, to go with speed, with god and bring them back home,”.
The plane which is due to stop over in the Philippines first to refuel, before heading to china, will leave china on Friday and land in South Africa later that day.
The mission will cost almost $1.6m, according to a letter President Cyril ramaphosa wrote to parliament.
A total of 122 South Africans are to be repatriated, authorities say. That’s fewer than the 180 people who originally said they wanted to be brought back.
South Africa currently has seven confirmed cases of the virus.