The president kick-started the special event by announcing that the number has skyrocketed to 61 cases, up from the 51 cases that were announced earlier today.
For a quick read, here are our key takeaways from Ramaphosa’s special cabinet meeting on measures to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19):
* Issued a travel ban on people from Italy, China, UK, and several other countries. The travel ban is effective from Wednesday, 18 March 2020. No visas for visitors who have been in high-risk countries, those already granted have been revoked.
* South Africa has 72 ports of entry in the country which are land, sea, and airports. Of the 53 land ports, 35 will be shut down with effect from Monday 16 March.
* 2 of the 8 seaports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.
* Schools will be CLOSED from Wednesday, 18th March 2020 until after the Easter holidays which ends on April 13. The mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week.
* In terms of Events + Festivals: Gatherings (including all government events) of more than 100 people will be prohibited.
* Correctional service visits suspended for the next 30 days, surveillance and testing capacity intensified.
* Non-essential travel is discouraged.
* COVID-19 will have a significant and potentially lasting impact on the economy.
* This will have a potentially severe impact on production, the viability of businesses, job retention and job creation.
* The president also stated some tips to stay safe:
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing.
- Avoid close contact with people who present flu-like symptoms.
- Minimize physical contact with other people, and, encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands.
Ramaphosa closed by saying the Ministers will be briefing the media tomorrow (Monday, 16th March 2020) to unpack the decisions that have been taken.