South African leader to place his country in a three-week lockdown


In a live television address, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday in order to control the outbreak of coronavirus that will last for 21 days.

This means that all South Africans are required to “stay at home except for essential purposes”, a tweet from the president’s office says.

There are 402 cases of coronavirus in the country – the highest number in sub-Saharan Africa. No deaths have been recorded so far.

Explaining the imposition of a three-week lockdown, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that “the next few days are crucial” in combating the spread of coronavirus.

There are currently 402 cases in the country, which is a six-fold increase from just eight days ago, the president said in a live televised address.

“Those countries that have acted swiftly and dramatically have been far more effective in controlling the spread of the disease,” he added.

Announcing the conditions of the lockdown that is due to start at midnight South African time (22:00 GMT) on Thursday, Mr. Ramaphosa said:

  • Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances
  • All shops and businesses will be closed except those providing essential services
  • Temporary shelters will be set up for the homeless
  • Medical and security personnel will be exempt from the lockdown

“We must do everything within our means to reduce the overall number of infections and to delay the spread of infection over a longer period,” the president added. (Source: BBC)