COVID-19 South Africa
In March the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed South Africa’s first case of the Covid-19; a 38-year-old male who had travelled to Italy with his wife with a group of 10 other people. The NICD confirmed that the patient had consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March, “with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough.” The patient, who has been self-isolating was declared recovered on 18 March.
On 14 March the NICD reported 38 cases, all from citizens who had returned from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Dubai.
After consultations and agreement between executive members of the South African Pagan Council (SAPC) and regional coordinators of the annual Pagan Freedom Day events around the country, it was agreed to cancel this year’s public gatherings. SAPC Convener, Adriaan Roos published the following statement on 14 March.
PAGAN FREEDOM DAY – 27 APRIL 2020
Good Folk of the Community
It is with a very heavy heart that I come to you today.
The decision was taken, and with consultation with all relevant parties and the SAPC Executive and mostly our Pagan Freedom Day Organizers, to cancel the Pagan Freedom Day Celebrations for 2020, due to the international and local cases of the COVID-19 Virus.
The World Health Organization has officially declared this a World Pandemic. They asked for a proactive approach, and that is what we are doing.
We feel that in the interest of our Community and the general population at large, we have a duty to safeguard individuals and communities. This is not dictated by panic or fear but understanding the necessity of containing the spreading of the disease.
We are currently keeping a close eye on the situation and will keep the Community updated on relevant information.
We ask that everyone please keep their well-being first. If you do suspect that you have contracted or show symptoms of any sort, please contact the toll-free hotline: 0800 029 999.
South African Pagan Council
As South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, prepared to address the nation on 15 March, the NICD confirmed 61 positive COVID-19 cases in South Africa. On the evening of 15 March Ramamphosa declared Covid-19 a national disaster. “The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. There are now more than 162 000 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus across the globe. Given the scale and the speed at which the virus is spreading, it is now clear that no country is immune from the disease or will be spared its severe impact. Never before in the history of our democracy has our country been confronted with such a severe situation. […] Fellow South Africans, this is the most definitive *Thuma Mina moment for our country. I have great trust that our people will respond positively to this call to common action. Fellow South Africans, this epidemic will pass. But it is up to us to determine how long it will last, how damaging it will be, and how long it will take our economy and our country to recover. It is true that we are facing a grave emergency. But if we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it. I thank you. ” Full Address
In brief summary:
- Person to person contagion between citizens has been confirmed.
- A travel ban has been imposed on all travel to or from the European Union, the US, and all other high-risk countries. All visas have been cancelled.
- SA citizens returning to South Africa will be subjected to quarantine on return to the country.
- All non-essential travel outside of the country has been prohibited.
- Gatherings of more than 100 people have been prohibited.
- All public gatherings have been cancelled.
- All schools will be closed from Wednesday 18 March and will remain closed until after the Easter weekend.
- All businesses and shopping malls must implement hygiene control regimes.
The Presidency urged avoidance of all public person to person contact.
As of 23 March, the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and private laboratories have conducted a total of 12 815 tests. 402 tests have confirmed positive for COVID-19.
The public has been advised to self-isolate if exhibiting symptoms of COVD-19. The Department of Health has urged those showing symptoms of COVID-19, who have also been in contact with a person who has tested positive, to first use primary healthcare channels, either local clinics or GPs, for referral to specialised units dealing with COVID-19 testing and treatment.
No fatalities have been reported yet.
‘If everything around you seems dark, look again, you may be the light.” Rumi
Support and assistance in South Africa.
COVID-19 WhatsApp support group – 0600 123 456
South African COVID-19 hotline – 0800 029 999
For official COVID-19 Updates
In President Ramaphosa’s 15 March declaration he said, “Fellow South Africans, this is the most definitive Thuma Mina moment for our country.”
This is a reference to Hugh Masekela’s song, Thuma Mina (Send Me). You can listen to the song (with lyrics) here.