South Africa is 24 hours away from going into a nationwide lockdown, an extreme measure that was necessitated by the vast spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus South Africa updates: What’s the latest infection rate?
The pathogen is starting to propagate at an alarming rate. In a span of 24 hours, South Africa has recorded 554 known cases of coronavirus, a sharp 153 increase in cases compared to Sunday’s tally (402).
In reality, the number may be much higher since it is widely known that the tests used have a four-day turnaround period. President Cyril Ramaphosa understood this clearly.
South Africa will go into coronavirus lockdown
That is why, on Monday evening, he initiated the immediate restriction of non-essential movement in the country, a measure that will be in place from Thursday 26 March to Thursday 16 April.
During this time, people will not be allowed to leave their homes. All non-essential activity across the board will be shut down and people will only be granted leave to walk outside for store runs, pharmacy visits or social grant withdrawals.
People found to be in contravention of these clear instructions will either be fined or, in serious cases, face imprisonment.
As scary as this may be for some, South Africa is only following behind other countries who, in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, have implemented similar measures.
We, however, have yet to experience the psychological effects of being confined to our home spaces for at least three weeks, with no movement allowed until the coronavirus passes.
Some might say this is certainly achievable as a collective but it can be a bit naive to think that more than 50 million people, from different economic classes, will comply with these strict rules.
World in lockdown: How other countries look like ghost towns
We have collected footage from different countries that — either in the recent past or currently — are in lockdown.
Note that things may have changed by the time you read this so take this as an experiential look into what life in South Africa may look like.