CORONAVIRUS: There’s no sugarcoating it when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis that faces South Africa now officially a national disaster. The president has asked the nation to be vigilant and adhere to hygiene-control, also revealing that the economy of the country is slowing down with a decline in various business sectors.
The reality of the impact of the coronavirus has far-reaching implications on many levels, the health sector will be the most strained while tourism has declined as the infection rate rises in South Africa. A national command council chaired by the president will include members of the inter-ministerial committee meeting 3 times a week to coordinate emergency response to the crisis facing the country. Other highlights include that all schools across the country will be closed from Wednesday, March 18.
We are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus. We are taking drastic and urgent measures. We declare a national state of disaster.President Cyril Ramaphosa, Nation Address
National holiday celebrations like the country’s ‘Human Rights Day’ are cancelled with other government measures to be implemented in due course.
No domestic travel, limit contact says Ramaphosa
The president has asked the nation to ensure the practise of washing your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer for a minimum of 20 second. Avoid physical contact with people who exhibit flu-like symptoms and avoid gatherings and domestic travel.
Here’s the main highlights from President Cyril Ramaphosa nation-address
- South Africa’s coronavirus infection rate now stands at 61.
- A travel ban for travellers from high-risk countries as of March 18.
- Medium risk countries like Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore will have high-intensity screening measures at ports of entry. SA has 72 ports of entries, 35 will be shut down effective Monday.
- All travellers from high-risk countries required to present themselves for testing for COVID-19.
- High level of measures to be implemented at ports of entry
- 2 of 8 seaports to be vloces for passengers and crew
- All non-essential domestic travel by South African citizens (air, rail, taxi and buses)
- Limit gatherings of events of more than 100 people at any given time.
- Small gatherings will need organisers to place stringent measures of control.
- Schools close on 18 March until Easter Weekend
- School holiday will be shortened by the week.
- Hygiene control will increase at all government buildings
- Minister of Higher Education is consulting with vice-chancellors and higher education institutions on measures to be taken by this sector.
- All shopping malls are instructed to bolster hygiene-control measures.
- Government facilities are increasing quarantine measures in all provinces. Visits to all correctional services are suspended for 30 days.
- Tracing processes are to be implemented along with partnerships with corporate sector to track the virus’ spread in the country.
- Mass communication campaign by the government has begun to promote education of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Government will make funding to the sectors dealing with the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.