Parliament suspends activities amid COVID-19 outbreak

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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: