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State of disaster

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Lentswe, Klerksdorp - President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of emergency in connection with the COVID-19 threat.

“We are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus. We are taking drastic and urgent measures. We declare a national state of disaster,’’ he said in his televised speech addressing the nation on Sunday 15 March.

President Ramaphosa also imposed a travel ban on foreigners from high risk countries (Europe, China) as of Wednesday 18 March. All visas have been cancelled. South Africans were advised to refrain against travel to these countries.

Other highlights from his speech:
- 35 land ports will be closed.
- Non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.
- Limit contact amongst groups of people.
- Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohi-bited.
- Mass celebrations are cancelled.
- Visits to correctional services are suspended for 30 days.

The Health provincial spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane confirmed on Wednesday 18 March that North West province has not tested one positive patient with COVID-19.

At the time of going to press during the morning of Wednesday, the Minister of Health announced that there are 116 confirmed cases in the country. The figure is rising.