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2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Africa

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Africa
CoViD-19 outbreak cases in South Africa.svg
Map with number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per province as of 2 April 2020.
  1–9
  10–99
  100+
CoViD-19 outbreak deaths in South Africa2.svg
Map with number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths per province as of 2 April 2020.
DiseaseCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Virus strainSevere acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2
(SARS-CoV-2)
SourceBats or possibly pangolins[1][2][3]
LocationSouth Africa
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
30°35′14″N 114°17′17″E / 30.58722°N 114.28806°E / 30.58722; 114.28806
Index caseHilton, KwaZulu-Natal
Arrival date1 March 2020
(1 month and 1 day ago)
Confirmed cases1462 (as of 2 April 2020)[4]
Recovered31 (as of 29 March 2020)[5]
Deaths
5 (as of 2 April 2020)[4]
Official website
sacoronavirus.co.za

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic spread to South Africa, with the first confirmed case announced on 5 March 2020 by Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize.[6]

On 15 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster with a partial travel ban, travel advisories, discouraging public transport, the closing of schools, and prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.[7]

On 23 March 2020, Ramaphosa issued a national lockdown lasting 21 days from 26 March 2020 to 16 April 2020.[8]

As of 2 April 2020, there were 1462 confirmed cases and 5 confirmed deaths.[4]

Preparations

After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, an emergency operation centre was activated.[9]

Cases

March

COVID-19 cases in South Africa  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
deaths
2020-03-05
1(n.a.)
2020-03-06
1
2020-03-07
2(+100%)
2020-03-08
3(+50%)
2020-03-09
7(+133%)
2020-03-10
7
2020-03-11
13(+86%)
2020-03-12
16(+23%)
2020-03-13
24(+50%)
2020-03-14
38(+58%)
2020-03-15
[a]51(+34%)
2020-03-16
62(+22%)
2020-03-17
85(+37%)
2020-03-18
116(+36%)
2020-03-19
150(+29%)
2020-03-20
202(+35%)
2020-03-21
240(+19%)
2020-03-22
274(+14%)
2020-03-23
402(+47%)
2020-03-24
554(+38%)
2020-03-25
709(+28%)
2020-03-26
927(+31%)
2020-03-27
1 170(+26%) 1
2020-03-28
1 187(+1.5%) 1
2020-03-29
1 280(+7.8%) 2(+100%)
2020-03-30
1 326(+3.6%) 3(+50%)
2020-03-31
1 353(+2.0%) 5(+67%)
2020-04-01
1 380(+2.0%) 5
2020-04-02
1 462(+5.9%) 5
Sources: 2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Africa

First week

On 1 March 2020, the first patient later confirmed with COVID-19 in South Africa, returned with his wife and 8 others from the Metropolitan City of Milan in Italy,[10] travelling via Dubai, O. R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Gauteng[11] and King Shaka International Airport in Durban to Hilton.[12] On 3 March, the patient reported with symptoms to a private general practitioner and isolated himself; the doctor isolated herself as well. On 5 March the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, announced the first confirmed case, epidemiologists and clinicians from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) were deployed to KwaZulu-Natal in response.[6][13][14] and the patient went to Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.[15]

Second week

On 7 March, it was announced that a woman from the same travel group from Italy, returning to Gauteng, also tested positive.[16]

On 11 March, 6 new cases were reported, with 1 case from the same travel group from Italy, while the other 5 cases appear unrelated having travel histories to other European countries. The first case was confirmed in the Western Cape province.[17] 3 new cases were announced on the 12 March, including the first case in Mpumalanga province. The first local transmission and first case in the Free State province was also announced, but withdrawn later in the day by the NICD who confirmed that the case's test result was in fact negative.[18] This brought the total cases to 16.[19][20][21]

Third week

On 15 March, the first local transmissions, not yet confirmed by government labs, were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.[7] and the following day, the first confirmed case from Limpopo province was announced.[22] The day there after, on 17 March, the first confirmed cases of local transmission were announced by government labs, 4 in Gauteng, 3 in KwaZulu-Natal, and 1 in the Western Cape.[23] On the next day, 18 March, the first confirmed case of local transmission in Mpumalanga was announced by government labs.[24]

On 19 March, the Health Minister suggested that two thirds of the South African population could contract the virus, a prediction in line with Europe's estimates on population infection.[25]

On 20 March, the Free State province recorded seven cases, becoming the sixth of South Africa's nine provinces to be infected.[26] Of the seven cases, five were from abroad (Israel, France and Texas) who had congregated for a church gathering attended by 200 people.[27] O. R. Tambo International Airport instituted isolation of foreigners on arrival and returning them to their countries of origin.[28]

Fourth week

On 21 March, the confirmed number of cases reached 240 with the Eastern Cape reporting its first case, making it the seventh of the nine provinces to report a case.[29] By 24 March all nine provinces had confirmed cases, with the first cases in the Northern Cape and North West being announced,[citation needed] a national 21 day lockdown as announced by the president to begin on the 27 March.[8]

On 30 March a total of 310 people in the Western Cape had been diagnosed with 256 of those being located in Cape Town.[30]

COVID-19 confirmed cases in South Africa by province ()

2020 EC FS GP KZN LP MP NW NC WC ? Confirmed Deaths Rec Ag
tests
Ref
New Total New Total
03-04 0 0 181 [31]
03-05 1 1 1 [6]
03-06 0 1
03-07 1 1 2 [16]
03-08 1 1 3 [32]
03-09 4 4 7 [33]
03-10 2 1 3 10 239 [34]
03-11 2 1 3 13 645 [17][35]
03-12 [b]0 1 1 1 3 16 848 [37][38]
03-13 4 2 2 8 24 924 [39][40]
03-14 7 1 6 14 38 1017 [41][42]
03-15 7 1 5 13 [c]51 1476 [43][44]
03-16 7 1 1 2 11 62 2405 [22][45]
03-17 14 4 5 23 85 2911 [23][46]
03-18 16 3 2 10 31 116 3070 [47][24][48]
03-19 15 3 1 15 34 150 4832 [49][50][51]
03-20 7 33 1 11 52 202 6438 [52][53][54]
03-21 1 16 3 18 38 240 7425 [55][56][57]
03-22 1 2 7 9 1 14 34 274 9315 [58][59]
03-23 4 75 24 3 3 4 2 12 1 128 402 4 12815 [60][61]
03-24 5 95 21 1 12 18 152 554 4 15529 [62][63]
03-25 12 17 11 -1 70 46 155 709 4 15529 [64][65]
03-26 3 19 90 43 2 1 -1 -1 46 16 218 927 4 20471 [66][67]
03-27 ? 12 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 243 1170 1 1 31 28537 [68][69][5]
03-28 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 17 1187 0 1 31 31963 [70]
03-29 2 4 51 11 1 1 1 39 -17 93 1280 1 2 31 35593 [71][72]
03-30 34 4 -1 2 -3 14 -4 46 1326 1 3 31 38409 [73][74]
03-31 2 22 7 3 3 9 (46) 27 1353 2 5 31 41072 [75][76][77]
04-01 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 27 1380 0 5 31 44202 [78][79]
04-02 2 8 18 20 2 1 27 4 82 1462 0 5 31 47965 [4][80]
Cases 17 84 663 206 16 13 9 7 353 94 New Total New Total Rec Ag
tests
Ref
EC FS GP KZN LP MP NW NC WC ? Confirmed Deaths

National lockdown

Greenmarket Square as it normally appears with many market stalls, seven days before the lockdown.
On the first day of the lockdown only people exempt from the lockdown (security personnel and sanitation workers) can be seen.
Greenmarket Square in Cape Town seven days before (left) and on the first day (right) of the COVID 19 national lockdown. After the lockdown the market stall traders that normally setup on the square everyday are not present and only people exempt from the lockdown (security personnel and municipal employees) can be seen.

On 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and announced a 21-day national lockdown effective from midnight 27 March through to 16 April,[8] with the deployment of the South African National Defence Force to support the government.[8]

People deemed necessary to the effective response to the pandemic such as health workers, pharmacies, laboratories, emergency personnel;[81][82] the security services (police officers, military personnel, and private security[83]);[81][82] as well as people regarded as necessary to the basic functioning of the economy (supermarkets, transportation and logistical services, petrol stations, banks, essential financial and payment services)[81][82] in addition to certain industries that can not be economically shut down (such as mines and steel mills)[83] are exempt from the lockdown. Restaurants, taverns, bottle stores and all other stores not selling essential goods are to close during the lockdown period.[83] Schools were closed a week before the lockdown period and will reopen after the lockdown. Non-exempt people are only allowed to leave their homes during this period to access health services, collect social grants, attend small funerals (no more than 50 people) and shop for food.[84] See the South African Government Gazette 25 March 2020 for a complete list of exemptions and non-exemptions during the lockdown period. South Africans have been ordered not to take their dogs for a walk during the lockdown, though they may walk them around their house or apartment building.[85]

The use of force by police and army personnel was controversial with multiple reports of excessive force in enforcing the lockdown.[86][87][88] By the fifth day News24 had reported that three people had died due to alleged excessive force by security officials enforcing the lockdown, equaling the number of people that had died of the virus in South Africa by that date.[89]

Impact

Health

Anyone showing symptoms who goes to a state hospital will have their COVID-19 test for free.[90]

Repatriation

On 14 March, 112[91][92] South Africans were repatriated from Wuhan, China, and placed under observation and in quarantine at The Ranch Resort near Polokwane.[93]

Medical screening was performed prior to departure, four South Africans who were showing signs of coronavirus were left behind to mitigate risk. Only South Africans who tested negative were repatriated.[94]

Test results cleared all the South Africans, including the flight crew, pilots, hotel staff, police and soldiers involved in the humanitarian mission who, as a precautionary measure, all remained under observation and in quarantine for a 14-day period [95][96] at The Ranch Resort.[97][94][98]

Gatherings limited

On 15 March, gatherings of more than 100 people were prohibited.[7]

On 18 March, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma signed a government gazette limiting the number of patrons at pubs, clubs, and restaurants to 50.[99]

School closures

All schools will be closed from 18 March 2020 until after the Easter season,[7] resuming on 17 April, with the June holidays shortened by a week and the September holidays shortened by 3 days.[100]

University class suspensions

Early closure
Date closed Date reopened Province City/Town University
2020-03-16 Gauteng Johannesburg University of the Witwatersrand[101] and University of Johannesburg suspended all contact classes.[102]
2020-03-16 Western Cape Cape Town University of Cape Town[101]
2020-03-16 Eastern Cape Alice University of Fort Hare[103]
2020-03-16 Gauteng Pretoria University of Pretoria[104]
2020-03-17 Eastern Cape Grahamstown Rhodes University
2020-03-17 Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela University
2020-03-17 Gauteng,
North West,
Mpumalanga
Vaal University of Technology
2020-03-17 Western Cape Stellenbosch Stellenbosch University[105]
2020-03-17 Free State Bloemfontein University of the Free State[106]

Events cancelled or postponed

Government and politics

Sport

Live entertainment

Religious & Spiritual

Expo & Trade shows

  • HuntEx, postponed until unknown future date[138]
  • DecorEx Cape Town & Durban, postponed until 2021[139]
  • Tyrexpo, postponed to 4 -6 August 2020 [140]
  • Power & Electricity World expo, postponed until 20-21 August 2020[141]

Other

Travel

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that from 18 March 2020, a travel ban will be imposed on foreign nationals travelling from high-risk countries and that visas for travellers from those countries have been cancelled.[7]

Bans

Travel bans as of 2020-03-19.

Border post closures

From 16 March, 35 of 53 land ports will be shut down. 2 of the 8 sea ports will be closed[7] for passengers and crew changes: Mossel Bay and Saldanha.[154] On 19 March, it was announced by Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille that the government would erect and repair 40 km of fencing to the east and west of the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe.[155]

Advisories

Travel advisories as of 2020-03-15
Countries with confirmed cases (red) and deaths (black)

Effective as of 15 March 2020, the government advised against all travel to China, the EU, Iran, South Korea, UK, and the USA; and discouraged all non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxi, and bus.[7]

Economic impact

At the beginning of the national shutdown on the 27 March South African economists predicted that the pandemic could cause a 2.5% to 10% contraction of South Africa's total GDP in 2020.[156] The national lockdown and resulting economic slowdown reduced demand for electricity by more than 7 500 MW thereby temporarily reducing the impact of the long running South African energy crisis.[157]

Stock market news

The JSE lost 15% of its value in the week ending 13 March 2020, its worst week in 21 years.[158]

On 19 March, the South African Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago announced a reduction of the country's repo rate by 100 basis points or 1 percentage point to 5.25%.[159]

Banking and retail

Retailers like Clicks, Pick n Pay, and Woolworths have some limitations on the number of the same items customers may buy.[160] On 19 March, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel signed a government gazette that enforces price controls on essential items and that could see price gougers punished with measures including a R10 million fine, a fine equivalent to 10% of a firm's turnover, or 12 months in prison.[161] On 22 March, Standard Bank announced a 90-day payment holiday for small and medium-sized business and students to try and shield them from the economic impact of the outbreak, starting from 1 April.[162]

Notes

  1. ^ 61 cases announced by president Ramaphosa later in the evening.
  2. ^ Free State case found to be not positive after confirmation test.[36]
  3. ^ 61 cases announced by president Ramaphosa later in the evening.[7]

References

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