South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday ordered the closure of schools and suspended visits by family members of prisoners to all correctional facilities across the country as the deadly novel coronavirus spread in Africa’s most advanced economy.
“Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events will be cancelled,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
He added that schools will be closed from Wednesday and will remain shut until after Easter weekend.
At least 61 people in the country have tested positive for virus and authorities say the numbers could rise in the coming days.
Ramaphosa said the government is also aware of a student who has tested positive for the coronavirus at Wits University in Johannesburg.
“The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is consulting with Vice Chancellors of universities and colleges across the country and will soon be announcing measures in this regard,” the statement said, adding those who have been in contact with the student will be quarantined.