Following the widespread of the Corona Virus, aka COVID-19, in South Africa, the president held an urgent meeting to address the nation on the steps and precautions that the country is going to take to protect the nation and to contain and eliminate the virus.
Here are some of the the things that President has mentioned as going to happen:
1. "Initially, it was people who had traveled out of the country, especially from Italy, who had positively tested for the virus. It is concerning that we are now dealing with transmission of the virus internal transmission."
This basically means that transfer of the virus locally has started, because previously all the cases were of people who had traveled abroad.
2. The number of the affected people is expected to rise in the next few days and people are urged to stay vigilant and stay away from crowded places.
3. "We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act."
4. "Any person who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa. South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa."
5. "Travellers from medium-risk countries – such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore – will be required to undergo high intensity screening."
6. "All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing."
7. "Secondly, it is essential therefore that we minimize the risk of the spread of this virus by limiting contact amongst groups of people."
Handshakes are forbidden, the President even shared a new way of greeting each other using elbows, and yes South Africans have already made a song from it.
8. "Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as #HumanRightsDay and other large government events will be cancelled."
Now this is a big one? No more parties? Malls? Shisanyamas? Clubs? Oh my Pretoria, My Johannesburg, My Bloemfontein, My party place Durban, my Cape Town, how are we going to survive this though? Maybe it will give us a chance to bod with our loved ones, just maybe spend some time with family? Am I forgetting Tertiary Students?
9. "Schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March, and will remain closed until after the #Easter weekend. To compensate, the mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week."
Now that's a relief for school children but a worry for Grade 12 learners.
10. "Government is working with colleges, universities & other public facilities such as Parliament, prisons, police stations & military installations to intensify hygiene control. Visits to all correctional centres are suspended for 30 days with immediate effect"
Finally prisoners will feel it that they are in prison for real.
11. "Thirdly, to further strengthen our health response: Government is strengthening its surveillance and testing systems. We are in process of identifying isolation and quarantine sites in each district and metro."
All over SA, there will stations where you can go and get tested for the infections, we can only hope it will be for free.
12. "Wash hands frequently with soap & water for 29 seconds or use hand sanitisers; cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow; avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
This should be basic, it is unfortunate how we have to be reminded to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we sneeze or cough.
13. "We must minimise physical contact with other people, and, encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands."
Yes he showed us how to do it!
14. On the 16th of March 2020 at 10:00, the will be another briefing by all the ministers who will be involved in keeping us safe and healthy during this epidemic.