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Tension, fear as South Africa steps up coronavirus fight

Now declared a pandemic, the outbreak of the new coronavirus that was first detected in China late last year has infected nearly 200,000 people in more than 150 countries.
COVID-19, the highly infectious disease caused by the virus, has so far killed almost 8,000 people, while more than 81,000 others have recovered. Across Africa, the number of registered infections has risen to 418 in 30 countries, while South Africa's  News government has been one of several in the continent to impose travel restrictions on European countries and the United States.

In the days before Ramaphosa's speech, South Africans had been aware of "corona" but did not seem too concerned about it as the country of some 59 million people had only registered just a few dozen cases, all of which involved international travellers.
But over the past 48 hours, a sense of insecurity has largely swept through South Africa as it is getting ready for the shutdown. Measures other countries had taken gradually over weeks, such as closing schools, imposing severe domestic and international travel restrictions and shutting entry points, South Africa took all at once. Thirty-five of 53 land entry points have been closed, as have two out of eight seaports.
By Wednesday morning, South Africa had 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.
Despite the relatively low numbers, one of the main worries is what will happen once the virus reaches the crowded inner cities and townships.
"We must alert all South Africans that the internal transmission Press Release Distribution Services In South Africa risk is now settling in," Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Tuesday. "Once this infection starts spreading in taxis and buses, it will create a new dynamic."
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