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Gauteng residents will now need permits to host funerals and weddings as government intensifies bid to curb COVID-19

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says families, who want to conduct funerals or weddings, have to apply for a permit from their nearest police station to ensure that citizens adhere to the 100-person limit as the country battles the coronavirus.

South Africa has 116 cases of the COVID-19 infection, of which the majority is in Gauteng.

He says Gauteng is the most vulnerable as the province is densely populated and has the most developed transport.

Makhura, along with other provincial officials, briefed the media on measures to combat the spread of the infection.

“We want to call on business to cooperate, including township establishments. Everyone who is applying for a funeral or for a wedding needs to do so at the nearest police station in your area. The police stations are helping us to monitor to ensure that the size of those events complies with the law. So, there’s a specific provincial police officer who is designated on behalf of the provincial commissioner coordinating all those applications so that there is full compliance,”  the Gauteng Premier says.

Makhura says he will meet with religious leaders in Gauteng on Friday as part of government’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Makhura says most institutions have indicated they will cancel or postpone Easter services and has welcomed the move.

The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen to 116, with no deaths reported.

Meanwhile Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says they are in discussions with medical practitioners and hospitals across the province to downscale out-patient and elective medical procedures in a bid to increase capacity as they battle the coronavirus.

Masuku says they will also be acquiring more testing kits for the province.

Also the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities has urged people to adhere to the safety measures and precautions against the spread of the coronavirus announced by President Ramaphosa.

The measures include a ban on meetings of more than 100 people.

The commission has warned about the risk of large numbers of people attending funerals, weddings, unveilings, baptismal services, stokvels, holy communions as well as ceremonies related to the return of Amathwasa.

The Chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission, Professor David Mosoma has released a statement.

“The Commission therefore appeals to the churches to adhere and embrace the call of President Ramaphosa with regard to small scale services not exceeding one hundred people.”

There are nearly 200 000 cases across the globe and close to 8 000 deaths.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday declared the pandemic a national state of disaster.

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For COVID-19 updates, visit official government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za