March 5, 2020 / 2:48 PM / a month ago

South African president says coronavirus will hurt tourism, economy

FILE PHOTO: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The spread of the coronavirus to South Africa will have a huge impact on travel and a negative impact on the already struggling South African economy, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

Ramaphosa was speaking hours after the first case of the virus, called COVID-19, was confirmed in South Africa.

“We will keep informing South Africans openly and transparently about a number of steps we will be taking because this will turn out to be a national crisis,” the president said.

“It will have a huge impact on travel, and a negative impact also on our economy.”

Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Tim Cocks

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