Ramaphosa, cabinet locked in crucial meeting as coronavirus cases increase

The meeting takes place as the health department announced 13 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number to 51 so far.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa has called a special cabinet meeting to discuss the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa, as the number of confirmed cases rises to 51 on Sunday, 15 March 2020. Picture: Abigail Xavier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – With mounting calls for government to take swift action as the number of coronavirus cases increases, President Cyril Ramaphosa is meeting his cabinet on Sunday to discuss the spread of the virus in the country.

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation at 5 pm where it is widely expected that South Africa’s borders and points of entry will top the agenda.

The health department announced 13 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number to 51 so far.

Ramaphosa is expected to outline what measures the government will take in dealing with the disease in the country.

The latest increase comes amid calls for the country's ports of entry to be shut especially for travellers coming from Europe.

GAUTENG: 7

⁃A 60-year-old male who had travelled to Iran.

⁃A 36-year-old male who had travelled to the UK

⁃A 54-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland

⁃A 27-year-old male who had travelled to the UK

⁃A 21-year-old female who had travelled to Germany

⁃A 53-year-old female who had travelled to Germany

⁃A 29-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland

WESTERN CAPE: 5

⁃A 35-year-old female who had travelled to Germany and Austria

⁃A 42-year-old female who had travelled to Spain, Switzerland and the UK

⁃A 50-year-old male who had travelled to the Netherlands

⁃A 33-year-old male who had travelled to Switzerland

⁃A 35-year-old male who had travelled to Austria

KWAZULU-NATAL: 1

⁃A 34-year-old male who had travelled to the UK

In the recent announcement, 12 of the 13 cases confirmed are from Europe.

Health spokesperson Popo Maja said, “The majority of these people are from Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and then KZN. I have not heard about the call for our borders of ports of entry to be closed. That is a decision that can be taken by cabinet.”

There are still no local transmissions of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Minister Zweli Mkhize earlier welcomed the repatriated South Africans who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Saturday.

The group has been placed under quarantine at a ranch hotel in Polokwane.

However, they have all tested negative for the virus and are being accommodated for 21 days as a precautionary measure.

The Limpopo health department says residents are in support of government's awareness campaigns.

WATCH: South Africans repatriated from Coronavirus-hit Wuhan land in Polokwane

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