Following President Ramaphosa’s ‘national disaster’ declaration, a number of South African cabinet ministers gathered today to address the nation on the government’s plans to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

During the briefing, key concerns relating to various industries such as transport, education and correctional facilities were discussed.

Here are some of the key points:

– Of the repatriated South Africans from Wuhan, four had to be left behind because they displayed symptoms of coronavirus

– Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu reported that a learner from Richards Bay Primary School in northern KwaZulu-Natal has tested positive for coronavirus. The child is believed to have been infected via local transmission. The school is now on lockdown

– Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel urges people not to panic purchase items, as this will lead to panic in the retail industry

– Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that random testing will be applied in all the taxi ranks and train stations. Prasa will also perform sanitation at stations

– Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola says that they are engaging with the judiciary and the legal fraternity to ensure the courts are still able to operate and the inmates are still be able to attend court proceedings. All correctional facilities are currently being sanitised

– According to Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe will remain open as it is the gateway to the rest of the continent

– Labour Minister Thulasizwe Nxesi reminds employers they have a legal duty to take measures to protect their employees. Where employees require quarantine, various leave types may be utilised

– Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu urges parents to take responsibility and make sure their children are not running around outside and exposing themselves to the virus

All South African schools will be closed from Wednesday, March 18 and will resume on April 14, 2020, unless determined differently. The June holidays will be shortened to compensate for lost time. The University of KwaZulu-Natal, Wits University, University of Cape Town and the University of Johannesburg have suspended their academic programmes and graduations as well.

As of this morning, South Africa now has 62 confirmed and verified cases of COVID-19. There are more cases, but these are yet to be verified. There are two cases of local transmission which have been presented to the NICD and are currently under investigation.

Globally, there are 168 250 confirmed coronavirus cases and 6 501 deaths across 142 countries and territories.

– The provincial landing page for coronavirus information:

– Public Hotline: 0800 029 999

– WHO contact page:

Also read: Ramaphosa confirms internal transmission of coronavirus in SA

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