JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster.
At least 62 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and more tests are currently underway.
The president says the country is now dealing with the internal transmission of the virus.
"It is concerning that we are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus," Ramaphosa said.
"This situation calls for an extraordinary response; there can be no half measures. Cabinet held a special meeting earlier today. After which, due to the serious measures we are going to announce, I have consulted the premiers.
"We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy. We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.
"This will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of this virus.
"We will also be able to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems to mitigate the severity of its impact."
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