Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has signed new regulations that will allow commercial banks and shopping mall owners to help financially distressed businesses amid the devastating impact of the coronavirus.

Addressing the media in Pretoria, on Tuesday, Patel says the coordination will allow banks to share information and come up with payment holidays and debt reliefs for the affected parties.

He says the coordination of mall owners will help to avert evictions.

“Earlier, I spoke about measures we took in respect of the finance sector. We will publish them today [in the] special government gazette to enable shopping mall owners to address payment and to ensure shops whose income will be falling during the lockdown have necessary flexibility and space,” adds Patel.

In the video below, SA Inter-ministerial committee briefing media

Cases of COVID-19 in South Africa rise to 554 

The cases of coronavirus in South Africa has risen to 554 and no reported deaths. They are two people who are in ICU. This was announced by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize at a media briefing in Pretoria.

Mkhize says the country’s aim is to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week national shutdown, starting at midnight on Thursday to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

There are over 370 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe, with over 16 000 deaths linked to the virus.

“I indicated that 554 new cases have been recorded overnight, as of 23:00 last (Monday) night. Most of our people are in good condition, many of them are no longer symptomatic and some of them are still being looked after at home. We have a record of two patients who are in the ICU in private hospitals and then there are no deaths at this point. But at the rate at which these numbers are increasing, we expect that the numbers will still increase.”

Watch the full media briefing below:

South Africa has become the latest country to implement a lockdown amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

 

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