ON Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa held an emergency address to the nation as number of positive cases of COVID-19 jumped to over 60. The president declared a national disaster and shared several methods to curb the continued spread of the disease, as he reported that the first case of local transmission had occurred.The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed six cases on March 11, three on March 12, eight on March 13, 14 on March 14, a further 13 on March 15, and another 11 on Mondy, March 16.THE NUMBER OF CASES CONFIRMED PER PROVINCE ARE AS FOLLOWS:*Gauteng: 31KZN: 12Western Cape: 16Mpumalanga: TwoFree State: 0Eastern Cape: 0Limpopo: OneNorth West Province: 0 Northern Cape: 0.On March 12, the Department of Health reported that a man (32) tested positive for Covid-19, and was said to be the first case of local transmission. However after a retest, it was reported that he tested negative. To date, the NICD and DOH reported that there were two cases of local transmission. These cases are however under investigation and are in the process of conducting confirmation tests and establishing thier direct contacts.DURING HIS ADDRESS, THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE POINTS THE PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTED:• Declared national disaster • Requests that citizens limit contact between persons• Imposed a travel ban between high risk countries • Cancelled/revoked Visas between high risk countries• Reframe all forms of international travel• Self-isolation and testing on citizens returning from international countries• Strengthen screening at airports.• SA has 72 ports of entries, 35 will be shut down effective Monday, March 16. • Discourages all national travel.• Gatherings of more than 100 people prohibited• As small gatherings are unavoidable he suggested prevention and control needed.• School closes on Wednesday, March 18 and will reopen after the Easter weekend.• Visits to all correctional services are suspended for 30 days• Businesses are requested to intensify hygiene control.The Busamed group has confirmed that all necessary protocols have been implemented at its seven hospitals across the country. According to Dr Diliza Mji, Busamed’s founder and CEO, as part of the response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the company is working closely with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health (DoH).“Our clinical protocols have been reviewed by a multi-disciplinary oversight committee to ensure continued support of our current infection prevention and the implementation of risk protocols for patients presenting with suspected COVID-19, and in the event of a national outbreak.”Mji said that to ensure that each Busamed hospital is prepared to manage suspected and positive COVID-19 cases, all staff are receiving ongoing training in accordance with the guidelines provided by NICD and the World Health Organization (WHO). “In line with the NICD & DoH guidelines our hospital staff are trained to identify and respond according to NICD procedures to any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 that presents in a Busamed hospital.”To reinforce awareness, WHO information posters that demonstrate prevention practices and general information about COVID-19 have been placed throughout the group’s hospitals.Hand sanitizer is placed at the entrance to each hospital, wards and other points throughout the hospital and all visitors must use it when entering or leaving the hospital. All visitors, whether in a Busamed hospital or not, should maintain a social distance of at least one metre from people near you. Busamed also urges visitors to its hospitals to assist by not visiting if you are unwell. As patient wellness is a priority, it also asks visitors to please refrain from sitting on patient beds. As a precaution, visitors are encouraged to call the hospital to confirm visiting times and to check if any other visitor restrictions have been implemented.*Numbers confirmed by the NICD and DOH at the time of going to press.