Faizel Patel - 24/03/2020
South Africa is going into lockdown to curb Coronavirus infections in a move thats been described by President Cyril Ramaphosa as necessary in order to save lives.
Ramaphosa made the announcement on Monday night saying drastic and decisive action is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 which has already infected at least 402 South Africans.
The number is expected to increase and South Africans have been ordered to stay at home for 21 days from midnight on Thursday.
The announcement comes a week after the President declared the outbreak a national state of disaster.
Ramaphosa says the lockdown excludes essential personnel which includes health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services (such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers) and other persons necessary to respond to COVID-19.
It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and those involved in the provision of medical and hygiene products.
Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or to collect social grants.