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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


ABDOOL KARIM, S. Criminalisation of transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A potential challenge to controlling the outbreak in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2020, vol.110, n.6, pp.1-3. ISSN 2078-5135.

In March 2020, two cases of attempted murder were opened against people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and had not remained in quarantine. Criminal law has previously been used to criminalise intentional transmission of HIV in both South Africa (SA) and other countries. However, it has been found that criminalisation laws undermine public health and measures to control outbreaks by stigmatising those infected and deterring testing. This article explores whether SA's existing HIV criminalisation laws can be applied to the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the potential effect such measures could have on efforts to control the COVID-19 epidemic.

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