President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a public service announcement on new measures South Africa will implement to combat coronavirus a day behind schedule. While there is a lot of mystery surrounding the address, murmurs from the higher-ups of government allege that the country will most likely go into lockdown.
Coronavirus South Africa: What are the latest infection statistics?
On Monday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize issued a daily report on coronavirus infections which showed the highest recorded increases in cases since the virus broke out on Thursday 5 March.
As of 23 March, South Africa has 402 known cases of coronavirus with Gauteng and the Western Cape being the two provinces with the highest recorded infections.
Will Ramaphosa implement a nationwide lockdown?
The government has been hush about the president’s upcoming address. Ramaphosa is expected to deliver an address with strict measures that will be implemented to contain the spread of the virus.
However, sources close to the command cluster responsible for these extreme high-level decisions have leaked reports claiming that South Africa will most likely be placed under nationwide lockdown for a period of 21 days.
It is also alleged that people caught loitering during this lockdown will either be fined or face imprisonment. The objective, it’s believed, is to implement strict measures of social distancing to flatten the curve and allow the coronavirus to pass.
What will happen when South Africa goes into lockdown?
Many countries around the world have implemented different levels of a nationwide lockdown. The veracity of the curfew depends largely on the scale of risk involved in isolating people.
As reported by The Economic Times, in the event that a country goes into lockdown, all non-essential services will likely be shut down in a bid to enforce social distancing for the coronavirus to pass.
In some instances, like India, severe domestic and international travel restrictions are implemented. In this case, public spaces and transport services are suspended throughout the country.
The only services that remain open are:
- outlets selling essential supplies like grocery stores;
- pharmacies; and
You may be granted a pass to be outside if:
- you are heading to the store to pick up groceries or medicine;
- going on a walk (pet walks are also permitted)
Failure to adhere to the strict rules of the lockdown may result in a fine or, in serious cases, imprisonment.
Of course, all of this information is contingent on Ramaphosa making the announcement. If this indeed happens, South Africa’s lockdown measures may be different from those of other nations.
At this time, we can do nothing but wait for Ramaphosa to address the nation.