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VIDEO: Ramaphosa meets religious leaders over COVID-19
19 March 2020, 10:24 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa is meeting with religious leaders as the government continues to implement measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the video below, it’s a live stream of proceedings:

[Update] Ekurhuleni sets up operation centre to monitor coronavirus
18 March 2020, 1:27 PM

City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mzwandile Masina says they’ve set up a Joint Operation Centre which is monitoring the coronavirus situation and providing regular updates on the situation.

South Africa now has 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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Ekurhuleni has four confirmed cases.

Masina delivered his State of the City Address at the Germiston Council Chambers in the East Rand.

He has also appealed to commnities not to panic and follow the guidelines issued by government with regard to the high standards of hygiene.

Coronavirus cases mostly from overseas travellers

Deputy Director General at the National Department of Health Dr Anban Pillay says the majority of coronavirus cases are of those who have travelled abroad.

The latest cases are 16 in Gauteng, three in KwaZulu-Natal, two in Mpumalanga and ten in the Western Cape.

Pillay says the travel restrictions in place will assist in stemming the further spread of the virus.

“Cases are definitely going up and that is largely driven by imported cases. There are a few that are linked to local transmission. But they may have been in contact with someone who travelled internationally and I think that is what the teams are trying to establish. I think the travel restrictions in place are going to go a long way in us trying to stem the flow because most of our cases are imported.”

Travel bans on high-risk countries in effect on Wednesday

Travel bans on citizens from eight countries including the United Kingdom and the United States were announced earlier this week.

The graphic below shows countries affected by travel bans:


Copy of epidemic v pandemic by SABC Digital News

All foreign nationals from high-risk countries or who have visited these countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa.

Travellers from medium-risk countries, as identified by the Department of Health, will be obliged to undergo high-intensity screening.

Travellers who have entered the country from high-risk countries since 15 February are required to present themselves for testing.

In the video below, Transport Minister Fikile outlines how travel bans will be implemented:

This story was edited after the Mayor’s office retracted the statement about plans to buy vaccines. 

Parliament suspends activities amid COVID-19 outbreak
18 March 2020, 6:37 AM

Parliament has suspended all its activities until further notice as part of measures to combat the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The National Assembly will sit for the last time on Wednesday to finalise urgent business while the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will hold its last plenary meeting on Thursday.

Parliamentary Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says the sittings of the National Assembly and the NCOP are for business that cannot be postponed.

This includes passing of the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill, draft notices and schedules determining the rate at which judges and magistrates are paid.

“The division of Revenue Bill is very important to ensure allocation of funds to three spheres of government. There is an expectation that some of the funds will be used for the coronavirus. All public hearings that were scheduled, particularly with regard to the Amendment of Section 25 of the meetings of committees have been suspended.”

South Africa’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has now risen to 85; an increase by 23 cases since the figure was last released:

Cape Town closes public facilities

The City of Cape Town has closed all its public facilities as part of efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Services Zahid Badroodien says the measures are in response to the president’s call to limit social contact to a minimum.

He adds that all statutory meetings, except the council meeting to pass the city’s budget at the end of the month, have been cancelled.

“At this stage, a call has been made to close all facilities which include our pools, halls, and recreational hubs to avoid non-essential social contact. In terms of public transport, MyCiti buses will now no longer take passengers in excess of 20 people.”

Revised visiting protocols at hospitals

The Western Cape Department of Health has announced new visiting protocols at government hospitals in an attempt to limit the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Spokesperson Maret Lesch says the measures include social distancing to minimise contact between patients and visitors.

“Adjustments during visiting hours may include reducing visiting times, one visitor per patient, no patient rotation and no visitors under 12 years old. We ask the public for their support in respecting our new visitation protocol as these are put into place to ensure everyone’s safety. Visitors are asked to contact hospitals in advance to enquire about visiting times.”

Below is a Live Tracking of the coronavirus cases, death toll, and other information, updated daily:

VIDEO: Higher Education briefs media on measures to combat COVID-19 outbreak
17 March 2020, 3:13 PM

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Dr Blade Nzimande briefs the media after meeting with all relevant stakeholders within the higher education sector.

He will announce measures all 26 public universities and TVET colleges will be implementing to further combat the COVID -19 pandemic in the Post School Education and Training Sector.

Proceedings will be live streamed below:

VIDEO: State Capture Inquiry
17 March 2020, 10:07 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture continues to hear Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa related testimony by its Group Executive of Legal Risk and Compliance, Martha Ngoye.

The proceedings will be streamed in the video below:

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