Stringent measures announced to tackle COVID-19 in S. Africa

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A fan wears a face mask during a Super Rugby match between the Sharks and the Stormers as it was announced that Super Rugby will be put on hold after this weekend's matches over the coronavirus outbreak in Durban, South Africa, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
A fan wears a face mask during a Super Rugby match between the Sharks and the Stormers as it was announced that Super Rugby will be put on hold after this weekend’s matches over the coronavirus outbreak in Durban, South Africa, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased, South African government has published a number of regulations set to tackle the spread of the outbreak.

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma released the regulations on Wednesday after consultations with some involved cabinet members to deal with the outbreak.

The regulations showed that the government is serious about taking stringent actions against people spreading fake news about the virus.

“Any person publishes any statements, through any media including social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about COVID-19, COVID-19 infection status of any person or any measures taken by government to address COVID-19 would be an offence liable for on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both such fine and imprisonment,” the 28-page regulations stated.

There would be penalties for people who expose others to the virus.

“Any person who intentionally exposes another person to COVID-19 maybe prosecuted for an offence including assault, attempted murder or murder,” it read.

The regulations were published after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced measures including travel bans, prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people at the weekend.

Places of social gatherings such as restaurants, taverns are prohibited from having more than 50 patrons at any time. Those places that sell alcohol must be closed in the evening.

“All of consumption premises that sell liquor must close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays, and at 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays,” read the regulations.

Legal actions would be taken against those failing to comply with the regulations.

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