South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the government would impose a nationwide 21-day lockdown from midnight on Thursday to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
In an address to the nation, Ramaphosa said the army would be deployed to assist the police during the lockdown. South Africans will still be able to leave their homes to buy food, seek medical care and collect social grants, Ramaphosa added.
‘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 for response to the pandemic,’ would be exempted from the lockdown.
South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize had said on Monday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen to 402, a jump of 128 since Sunday’s announcement.