Coronavirus: SA intensifies COVID-19 response

Coronavirus: SA intensifies COVID-19 response

South African Ministers are gearing up for the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

SA ministers coronavirus

On Monday, Ministers joined the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at the inter-ministerial media briefing following the President's announcements last night, where he said there would be travel bans to high-risk countries, schools closing early and cancellations of sports and cultural events. 

The number of infections in the country now stands at 62.

Ministers announced plans their respective departments have put in place.

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga says ten days will be lost in the school year, but they have a plan to redeem them.

"In June we reduce our June holidays and take another three days in September, so it makes up for the ten. In the meantime, we felt that it gives us a very good break, long time to do things that sometimes we are unable to do like intensifying some of our programmes which don't require physical contact like The Read to Lead Campaign."

"Head of departments are going to be changing notes today and by the end of Wednesday will be able to say what needs to happen."

READ: Coronavirus: More isolation wards set up in KZN hospitals

Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa says some sporting bodies have already taken measures. 

He says he will be meeting with all sectors tomorrow.

"We are going to be meeting both the sporting bodies and arts culture sector tomorrow to devise means of responding to what we are faced with and beyond as it relates to the livelihoods of the artist, athletes and so on."  

Minister of Defence, Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says military hospitals will be made available for the public.

"I can attest to the fact that we have issued a directive that all military hospitals should have isolation areas. We will be able to cater for our people, but also if there is a need, the department of health may direct some of the people to some of the hospitals we are running."  

Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula says public transport will be sanitised.

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Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni says funds are being set aside to assist.

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Rhodes University is the latest institution to cancel or postpone events to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

ALSO READ: SA universities shut amid coronavirus pandemic

It's temporarily suspended academic activities - while the graduation ceremonies that were set to take place from the 2 – 4 April have been postponed until further notice. 

The university says all events involving a large number of people that would have taken place on the campus between now and June 30th have either been cancelled, postponed or will take place online.

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