This is what I took from President Ramaphosa’s address 15 March 2020
side note: I was listening and trying to type as I went so I definitely didn’t get the bulk of it, but in summary these are the key points I took from his address:
There are over 162k people globally who are confirmed infected with COVID19.
SA: There are now 61 confirmed cases and there are confirmed transferred cases – ie people who have not travelled yet have now contracted COVID19 via others who had.
President Ramaphosa has now declared SA in a national state of disaster: and will follow protocol as per Disaster Management Act:
This act provides for an integrated and coordinated disaster management policy in South Africa that focuses on preventing and reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, emergency preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post-disaster recovery. source
This will allow goverment to better manage and limit the progression and to set up resources and facilities.
And so Cabinet has decided:
Highest priority: Limit contact with persons who may be infected
Travel ban on foreign nationals to & from
Cancelled visas for foreign nationals who had planned to visit SA.
SA citizens advised to refrain from travel to or through UK, USA, Iran, China, South Korea, etc. Effective immediatley.
Government will give alerts as situation evolves
SA citizens returning will be subjected to testing and self isolation/quarantine upon return
All those who have travelled high risk areas since Feb will be required to be tested.
OR Tambo, CT International and KS International will increase monitoring drastically
South Africa has 72 ports of entry
Of the 53 land ports – 35 will be shut down
2 of the 8 sea ports will be closed
All non essential travel for governemnt is cancelled & they insist on limited non essential domestic travel
In order to limit contact amongst groups of people Social distancing is in play:
– Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited
– Schools will be closed from Wednesday until after Easter (applies to Government schools – PVT schools to discuss, as far as I have heard)
– Mid year holidays shortened by 1 week
– Calling all SAfricans to wash hands frequently and for 20 seconds
Minimise body contact – elbow greeting
– Cough and sneeze into tissue and flush
Govt will make funds available to deal with this disaster.
I appreciated Pres, Ramaphosa’s closing statement and truly hope we can listen to his advice at this time:
“Our greatest dangers at this time are fear & panic… We cannot allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fear & panic. We should stop sharing fake news.Pres Cyril Ramaphosa
While we are experiencing a medical emergency far graver than anything seen in our time, we are not helpless. We have the means & resources to fight this disease. We have partners & the WHO…” (summary)
“If we act swiftly with purpose & collectively we can limit the affects of this virus.Although we may be limited physical contact, and interefing with rights of our people,Pres Cyril Ramaphosa
this epidemic has the potential to bring us closer together.
We are responding against a common threat.
It requires solidarity, understanding and compassion.
Those who have resources and are healthy need to help those who are not
If we are to succeed it cannot be on government alone, we all need to play our part.
A thank you to those who have taken steps of self isolation and being responsible. Thank you for taking others into consideration.
This is the most difinitive moment of our country.
This epidemic will pass. But it is up to us to decide how long it will last, how damaging it will be.
If we act together, if we act now and we act decisively I am sure we can overcome it.
United we are strong
Divided we are weak and can be defeated
I invite you to join us and take on this task with the strength and the courage we have as South Africans”
The National Command Council will meet 3 times per week.
There will be a press conference with ministers who will further elaborate on this national message tomorrow, Monday 16 March at 10am
You can join the Dept of Health’s Whats App group for updates and resources:
Add the following number to your contact list: 0600123456
and then type a whatsapp msg saying “hi”
you will be added to their broadcast list with updates
Department of health COVID19
Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999
If you feel you have been exposed to COVID-19, or are showing slight symptoms, please avoid contact with other people in your community and self-isolate.
If you feel you are ill and need non-urgent medical care, call your doctor to ask how to be tested. They will need to follow certain steps to get you the specific care you need.
You can find a list of hospitals managing COVID19 cases HERE