President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the repatriation of South African citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan city in Hubei province. Government says it has been in constant communication with the families of all affected individuals and relevant departments have made the necessary arrangements to receive them.

The Departments of Health and Defence will deploy healthcare personnel and supporting staff to provide assistance during the repatriation and quarantine processes.

Dirco will deploy consular services personnel to provide consular assistance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Ramaphosa has expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese Government and people for their assistance and support and reiterated South Africa’s confidence in China’s ability to control the outbreak.

 

In the US, President Donald Trump’s administration is considering invoking special powers through a law called the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic manufacturing of protective masks and clothing to combat the coronavirus in the United States, two US officials told Reuters.

The use of the law, passed by Congress in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, would mark an escalation of the administration’s response to the outbreak. The virus first surfaced in China and has since spread to other countries including the United States.

US health officials have told Americans to begin preparing for the spread of the virus in the United States.

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

Meanwhile, Facebook Inc said on Thursday it would cancel its annual developer conference due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak and Microsoft Corp followed suit by withdrawing from a gaming conference scheduled for March.

“In place of the in-person F8 event, we’re planning other ways for our community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of platform partnership.

Infographic on Coronavirus:

-Additional reporting by Reuters