President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with the National Command Council on Sunday to assess implementation of the national state of disaster directives he announced last Sunday. In a tweet on Saturday night, Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said the meeting was a scheduled one urging citizens to avoid speculation as to its purpose which may result in fake news.
The Council will further consider recommendations on economic relief measures to mitigate against the impact of #CoronavirusInSA . Thereafter, the President will give an update to the nation at a time to be decided at the conclusion of the meeting.
— Khusela Diko?? (@KhuselaS) March 21, 2020
Ramaphosa announced a raft of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic including travel bans, restricted size of social gatherings and closure of various sea and land ports.
The President announced the establishment of the National Command Council last week aimed at coordinating the fight against the pandemic at the highest level. The Council is aimed at enabling rapid response systems to mitigate the severity of the impact of the disease.
The Council, which is chaired by Ramaphosa includes amongst others, select members of cabinet and is scheduled to meet three times a week.
“This National Command Council will include among other members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and will meet three times a week to co-ordinate all aspects of our extraordinary emergency response,” Ramaphosa said while addressing the nation last Sunday.
More test kits needed
As of Saturday, South Africa had 240 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the Eastern Cape registering its first case.
These are the latest #CoronaVirusUpdate #CoronavirusInSouthAfrica cases from the @HealthZA. We now have 240 cases. Below you will also find provincial breakdowns and individual cases. pic.twitter.com/aKspTsjAoU
— National Health Insurance – NHI (@NationalNhi) March 21, 2020
In the video below, the Eastern Cape records its first COVID-19 case.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday, at a joint media briefing with the South African Medical Association (SAMA), that South Africa needs more COVID-19 test kits as they need to increase capacity so that they can test as many people as possible.
“We are looking at how to increase the testing capabilities so that we can test as many people as possible. We have been talking about it that at this point we’ve just probably got about 1 200 tests and this 150 comes from that number, but we now need to start being ready to test a couple of thousands per day and secondly we need to also be able to increase capability to have what we call drive-by testing and mobile testing capacity as it were.”
The Minister said about 60%-70% of South Africans will be affected by the virus.
In the video below, Minister Zweli Mkhize calls for unity during the COVID-19 pandemic.