South Africa is one of the African countries that have registered confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. Like most of the stricken nations, the government has heightened measures to stop further spread of the disease. On 15th March 2020, the government of South Africa through President Ramaphosa speech gave its remarks on the state of the nation regarding the matter. He also highlighted the stringent measures that the country is making to ensure that the pandemic is contained.
Coronavirus latest updates have placed South Africa as one of the African countries that have seen a rapid increase in the rates of infections. As a result, the government made a statement regarding the deadly COVID-19 virus. Through Cyril Ramaphosa address, the government introduced measures to combat the further spread of the disease.
President Ramaphosa speech today
On 15th March 2020, President Ramaphosa expressed the government's concerns on the state of coronavirus in South Africa. He also admitted that no country had been rendered immune to the virus. The president of South Africa stated that the cabinet had held a meeting on the matter.
The agenda of the meeting was to deliberate on the concern about the internal transmission of the virus. The resolution was to implement measures to manage the disease and to reduce its impact. The meeting also deliberated on the ways to protect the people of South Africa. President Ramaphosa declared the National State of Disaster in South Africa according to the Disaster Management Act. The declaration would enable the country to implement a disaster management mechanism whose focal point would be preventing further spread of COVID 19 South Africa.
Prerequisite preventive measures for COVID-19 South Africa
National State of Disaster declaration during Cyril Ramaphosa address culminated in travel ban South Africa and the following limitations being put in place regarding travellers and all forms of travel:
- Restricting human contact between people who could have been infected and the rest of the citizens of South Africa.
- Imposing a travel ban on foreigners from the countries that are at high risk regarding the COVID 19 infection. The flagged countries are Italy, South Korea, China, Iran, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The ban is to be effected on 18th March 2020.
- Imposing a ban on visas for foreigners from the flagged high-risk countries. The cancellation of the previously granted visas was effected on 15th March 2020.
- Anyone who has travelled from any of the high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to go for testing.
- The high-intensity screening will be carried out on travellers from countries such as Hong Kong, Portugal, and Singapore which have been categorised as medium risk countries.
- Any foreign national who has visited any of the high-risk regions since 25th February 2020 will not be granted a South African visa.
- South African citizens have been encouraged to desist from travelling to any of the flagged high-risk regions. They are also encouraged to refrain from travelling through the regions. The limitation on the transport route was effected on 15th March 2020. The citizens of South Africa have been advised to stay alert on the developing travel alerts that the government will issue since they are dependent on the region's risk levels.
- South African citizens coming from any of the high-risk countries will have to undergo testing and self-quarantine upon their return to the country.
- Surveillance, testing and screening measures will be heightened at the main international airports in the country.
- Two of the eight seaports will be closed for passengers and crew changes, and this directive was effected on 15th March 2020. Thirty-five out of the fifty-three land ports in South Africa will close operations with effect from 16th March 2020.
- All unnecessary travels outside the country are prohibited for government officials. The president also discouraged the citizens from engaging in any forms of unnecessary domestic travel by air, rail, buses or taxis.
COVID 19 South Africa limitations regarding social gatherings
With the concern of social gatherings pausing as a mode of quick transmission of the virus, the government has put down measures to contain the rapid spread of the disease. These are some of the limitations that Ramaphosa speech highlighted:
- Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. This includes the mass cancellation of government functions like national day celebrations. In cases when small gatherings are unavoidable, the organisers will have to implement stringent prevention measures to contain the rate of infections.
- All schools will be closed from 18th March 2020. After the Easter weekend 2020 South Africa, schools might resume operations. The mid-year holiday break will be shortened by one week to make up for the lost time.
- Institutions like universities, colleges, parliament, prisons and police stations will have to practise high levels of hygiene.
- All business owners, managers of malls and entertainment centres are being called upon to intensify hygiene control as a way of managing the spread of the virus.
- For the next thirty days, there will be a suspension of all visits to correctional facilities. The suspension took effect on 15th March 2020.
Managing coronavirus SA
The increased rates of infections have prompted the government to work on its surveillance systems to ensure that it controls the rate of infection as well as manages the infected persons. Ramaphosa address highlighted these as some of the measures that the government intends to put in place:
- Identifying sites for quarantine and isolation in every metro and district. In line with this measure, the government is increasing the capacity of the facilities in every province.
- Increasing the capacity of the contact tracing process by partnering with the private sector to hasten the process of tracing the infected people and those who are likely to have come in contact with them.
- Conducting a communication campaign to create awareness on the prerequisite prevention measures.
- Providing funds for the sectors that will be dealing with the response to the outbreak.
- Establishing a National Command Council that will coordinate the aspects of the emergency response.
COVID-19 updates South Africa
According to Cyril Ramaphosa speech today live, South Africa registered sixty-one cases of infections. The impact of the disease is already being reflected in the tourism sector, which has registered a significant drop; hence the country's economy is bound to suffer the loss.
President speech today South Africa highlights the country's readiness in managing the pandemic. It also points out the responsibilities of the citizens of South Africa with regard to the matter. The stringent rules that President Cyril Ramaphosa declared have a high potential of containing the further spread of coronavirus SA. Citizens of South Africa are expected to play their part since the solution is more of a joint effort. We hope that you will be wise and follow the mentioned directives. Stay safe and sound!