U.S. markets closed

South African president Ramaphosa declares COVID-19 a national disaster

CAPE TOWN, March 15 (Reuters) - South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday declared a national state of disaster as he announced a range of extraordinary measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected 61 so far.

Addressing the nation in a live television broadcast after a special cabinet meeting, Ramphosa said the outbreak, first detected on March 5, could have a significant and "potentially lasting" impact on a struggling economy already in recession.

Measures to be taken to limit its spread include travel bans to high-risk countries, he said. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Jan Harvey)