Coronavirus patients ‘charged with attempted murder’ for failing to self-isolate

Two people who tested positive for coronavirus have been charged with attempted murder over claims they refused to self-isolate, according to reports.

Police in South Africa said a tourist had been taken in after President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the country under lockdown.

A businessman from Ladysmith is also being investigated, officers said.

Times Live reports that the both men are now in hospital following their arrests.

News outlets in Africa later said the two men had been charged with attempted murder.

A police spokesperson said the tourist was being probed for "allegedly failing to conform to instructions to self-quarantine after allegedly testing positive with Covid-19".

He added: "On March 22, the said tourist was on holiday in the Kruger National Park. Whilst there, he was tested positive with Covid-19 and was instructed to remain in his lodge in the park.

"Instead, the tourist ignored the instruction and proceeded to St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal, where he apparently interacted with an unknown number of people.

"There is now an extensive drive by the department of health, assisted by members of the Saps, to trace those who the infected tourist came in contact with. This tourist has not yet been charged as he went into quarantine before police could engage him."

Commenting on the businessman, he continued: "In the second incident, on March 24 at approximately 3.30pm, Ladysmith police officers received information that a man who allegedly tested positive with Covid-19 came in contact with other people in the Ladysmith area.

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"The same man reportedly travelled to various countries and on his return to South Africa on March 18 he was tested for Covid-19.

"The man was instructed to self-quarantine for at least 14 days pending the blood results.

"However, he allegedly continued with his business since March 21 and in doing so disregarded the instructions by a doctor – thus allegedly contravening regulations in terms of the National Disaster Management Act pertaining to Covid-19."

"A list of 27 people who were at his salon and also at a religious gathering are still being sought for testing. The matter was discussed with the senior public prosecutor for the matter to be postponed in absentia to avoid further contamination."

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