Thuma Mina moment like never before

2020-03-19 06:05

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night invoked sweeping emergency powers as he announced a range of extraordinary interventions by government to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Declaring the outbreak of Covid-19 a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, he said South Africa has the “knowledge, means and resources” to defeat the virus.

“It was Louis Pasteur who said that fortune favours the prepared mind,” said Ramaphosa.

“Our national response has been driven by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) chaired and ably led by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. The manner in which the IMC and the support teams have responded to this emergency has been both exemplary and reassuring, particularly in helping to quell public panic.”

As was announced on Sunday, the government has put a raft of emergency measures in place, and will make funding available to support their implementation. They include travel bans on visitors from high-risk countries; mandatory testing, self-isolation or quarantine for South African nationals returning from these countries; and strengthening surveillance, screening and testing at ports of entry into the Republic.

“Social distancing is critical if we are to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said President Ramaphosa.

Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited and mass celebrations of national days are cancelled.

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