Coronavirus: Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown in South Africa

Coronavirus: Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown in South Africa

- After lengthy consultations with key figures, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally addressed the nation

- Ramaphosa outlined the initiatives taken by the government to help limit the impact of the coronavirus in South Africa

- This comes after the number of confirmed cases rose to 402 on Monday

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has outlined the government's continued response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his address to the nation on Monday, Ramaphosa thanked citizens, especially those on the frontline, for their efforts since the declaration of a national disaster:

"Many have had to make difficult choices and sacrifices, but all have been determined that these choices and sacrifices are absolutely necessary if our country is to emerge stronger from this disaster."

The president reiterated that hygiene and social distancing is the most effective way to combat the virus.

As for the way forward, Ramaphosa announces that measures would be escalated in the wake of increases in reported cases.

A nationwide lockdown will be in effect from Thursday and will last for 21 days, this lockdown will be enforced from midnight on Thursday until 16 April.

South Africans will only be allowed to leave their home under strict circumstances for example to purchase food items, access medical help and to collect social grants.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Mkhize confirms 402 cases, first for Northern Cape

Ramaphosa has announced that emergency water supplies are being provided to informal settlements and rural areas.

Firms that can continue operations remotely must do so, but most retail outlets and businesses will close.

Ramaphosa said that, in light of the technical recession, the government will be announcing further measures to help protect the economy. reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed the number of cases in SA rose to 402, a sharp 128 case increase since the end of the weekend.

Thus far, the government had instilled curfews on the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places, shut down schools across the country and imposed travel restrictions.

Members of the South African National Defence Force appeared on the streets of Mzansi and the military had this to say:

"The SANDF would like to confirm that the soldiers seen in Johannesburg is part of the SANDF's mobilisation phase as part of normal preparations for support to Government and it is not a deployment as speculated. The SANDF would like to appeal to the public to remain calm."

However, Ramaphosa revealed that he had deployed the military in light of the impending lockdown.

In light of the continued spread, citizens had been lobbying for a total lockdown in the country in a bid to avoid situations like the one currently facing Italy.

As for panic buying, Ramaphosa urged people to remain calm assuring citizens that supply chains remain intact and there is no need to stockpile any items.

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