A letter to the people of South Africa from the desk of the President, in the wake of his announcement on Sunday 15 March of extensive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Dear fellow South African,
The world is in the throes of a public health emergency on a scale not witnessed in over a century.
The spread of the coronavirus, which causes the disease known as Covid-19, has been alarmingly swift and wide scale, and is now defined as a global pandemic.
It knows no geographical or territorial boundaries, has infected both young and old, and is on the rise in developed and developing countries alike.
As screening and testing is scaled up, the number of infections in South Africa is expected to rise.
Yesterday [Sunday 15 March 2020], I declared a national state of disaster, a measure proportionate to the severity of the threat to our people, to our society and to our economy.
This will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism and to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems.
This virus will be extremely disruptive, and our priority is to safeguard the health and well-being of all South...