MORE than 120 students who were isolated at The Ranch Resort outside Polokwane, Limpopo, have been declared coronavirus-free.

This after they spent 14 days at the resort and tested negative for the virus.

They are set to leave for their respective homes today. President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the students at the resort yesterday to bid them farewell.

He was accompanied by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha and Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba.

Ramaphosa also declared the resort a green zone.

He urged the students to be ambassadors and teach people about the seriousness of the virus.

“You spent 51 days isolated in China and also spent 14 days in isolation at the hotel. It is unfortunate that you will have to stay at your homes again, since Mzansi is on lockdown.

“You have proven that a lockdown and social distance do work in containing the virus as it is working in other countries and I know you are going to make it,” said Ramaphosa.

Commending the soldiers and cabin crew members, he said they were a true representation of thuma mina, as they volunteered to go on a dangerous mission.

Ramathuba said: “I’m sure you will be able to assist many communities with this virus with the experience you got.” The students were overjoyed and happy to go home.

Mpeta Motaung (26) from Bethlehem, Free State, said they went through a hard time in China.

“We sometimes did not eat, not knowing whether we are going to die or not, and whether we would come home. We kept praying and hoping for the best. We feel blessed we are now going to be with our loved ones,” he said.