President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster and announced sweeping measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, including travel restrictions on foreigners from hard-hit countries, a ban on mass gatherings of more than 100 people, and the closure of schools.

The cabinet anticipated the pandemic would have a “significant and potentially lasting” impact on the economy, and was finalising a package of measures to mitigate its impact, he said...

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