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Sunday, March 15, 2020 – 17:58

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has held a national address to tell the country about the governments plans to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.

He has announced that the number of confirmed cases has risen to 61. He confirmed that for the first time we are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus.

“We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act”, announced Ramaphosa. This is will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of this virus. We will also be able to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems.

The urgent and drastic measures to be taken are:

  • A travel ban on foreign national from high risk countries such as Italy, Iran, UK, as from 18th March.
  • Visas are cancelled from today and previously issued visas are cancelled.
  • SA citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel through those high risk countries – effective immediately.
  • SA citizens returning from high risk countries will be subjected to quarantine on return.
  • All travelers who have returned from high risk countries will be required to present themselves for testing.
  • Of the 72 points of entry into SA 35 points of entry will be closed from Monday.
  • All non-essential travel for government will be banned and the government will discourage all non-essentail domestic travel.
  • Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. Large events will be cancelled.
  • Schools will be closed from Wednesday until after the Easter weekend.
  • Government is working with universities to intensify hygiene control.
  • The Higher Education Minister is consulting with universites and colleges and will make an announcement soon.
  • Visits to all correctional services are suspended for 30 days
  • All businesses to insure they take measures for hygiene control
  • Isolation and quarantine sites are being setup in all districts and Metros
  • Mass communication campaign is being undertaken by Government
  • All businesses to ensure that they take all necessary measures to ensure hygiene control. 

After the President’s speech it was announced that Ministers would be holding specific press conferences tomorrow.

Click here to read the full text of the President’s speech

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