Ramaphosa orders a 3-week lockdown as S.A’s COVID-19 cases escalate
By Daisy Okanga | South Africa will impose a three-week lockdown over coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Monday.
The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has risen sharply in recent days, going from 61 to more than 400 in just over a week.
Addressing the nation, Ramaphosa said the 21-day lockdown will begin at midnight Thursday and he called on the country to urgently and dramatically react to its response.
South Africa has been noted to have a population with many individuals suffering from weak immune system due huge number of HIV and tuberculosis. This saw the country declare state of emergency despite the number of coronavirus cases increase rapidly.
“The action we are taking now will have lasting economic costs, but we are sure that the cost of not acting now will be far greater.” Said Ramaphosa.
During the lockdown, people will not be allowed to leave their homes except to buy food, medical supplies, collect social grants or seek medical attention.
All shops and businesses will be closed except for pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers as well as laboratories, banks and other essential financial services.
Essential personnel including health care workers, emergency and security personnel necessary to the response will also be exempted.
Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to act in the interest of the nation and not out of self-interest to help in preventing the spread of the virus.
The Africa’s largest economy becomes the third nation on the continent to implement nationwide lockdown procedures due to the virus after Tunisia and Rwanda.
No deaths have yet been reported in the country.