South Africa to Mull Relief Measures as Coronavirus Cases Rise

(Bloomberg) --

South Africa will consider further economic-relief measures to soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and assess efforts to slow the pace of the pandemic at a National Command Council meeting on Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will then give an update to the nation, his spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said on Twitter.

South Africa has banned travel to certain countries and gatherings of more than 100 people, while restaurants and bars have been ordered to close or stop selling liquor at 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. The aim is to prevent a rapid escalation of the pandemic, which has infected more than 250,000 people worldwide, overwhelmed some health-care systems and ground economies to a halt.

The number of confirmed South African cases rose to 240 on Saturday, with no deaths.

The council may consider more stringent measures to contain the virus after a number of complaints of people not adhering to the guidelines, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said by phone.

“I have no indication yet if there will be a lockdown, but if they decide to, I would be in complete support of it,” Winde said by phone, citing the need to slow the rate of new infections.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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