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International News

Mar 16, 2020
8:34AM

South Africa announces National State of Disaster over coronavirus

@CyrilRamaphosa
South Africa has announced a National State of Disaster over the coronavirus crisis as the number of infected people in the country has risen to 61.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement in a live national television broadcast yesterday. He said, "We have decided to establish a national command council and will meet three times a week to coordinate all aspects of this emergency response"

The South African president announced "social distancing measures" in the wake of the outbreak and said further details will be issued on Monday.

These measures include a prohibition on gatherings of more than 100 people, cancellation of all large celebrations of national days, and the closure of all schools from March 18 until after the Easter weekend.

Visas will be refused to anyone who has visited a high-risk country in the last 20 days, and 35 of the country's 53 land ports will also be shut on Monday.

The President urged citizens to avoid international travel to high-risk countries but cautioned against any panic.

President Ramaphosa also warned against spreading unverified and fake news.

Cautioning against panic he added, "While we are facing a medical emergency far graver than we have experienced in recent times, we are not helpless.

We have the expertise, means and knowledge to fight this disease. We also have partners, various countries and institutions, working with us."

The number of infections in South Africa doubled over the weekend with 37 new cases, taking the total to 61.

This makes it the country with the second-highest number of cases in Africa after Egypt, which has reported 110 so far

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