- A lockdown, like the one announced on Monday night, has never happened in democratic South Africa
- Following the announcement of the 21-day shutdown, many citizens are unsure of what comes next
- Briefly.co.za explores what information has been released thus far on the situation
After a week of citizens wondering what will happen next in light of the coronavirus pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a 21-day lockdown.
This unprecedented move has left many feeling confused and uncertain over what the three weeks will entail.
Briefly.co.za explores the information available at this time in order to provide citizens with an explanation:
What is a lockdown?
The presidency has explained what it means when it uses the term 'lockdown':
"A lockdown is an emergency protocol that requires South Africans to stay at home except for essential purposes. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other essential industries will remain open. All non-essential activities are suspended. The full national lockdown will begin at midnight on Thursday 26 March and will continue for 21 days."
What is the purpose of the lockdown in South Africa?
The nation-wide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission of the coronavirus. It will prevent the spread of the virus and save the lives of South Africans.
What if I have an emergency during lockdown?
The presidency explained that emergency services, including doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, will continue to operate as usual.
Should I stock up now?
No, President Cyril Ramaphosa made it crystal clear that stock supply chains are still intact and that there is no need to stockpile any items. Grocery stores and banking services will remain open for the duration of the lockdown.
Can I still go to work?
A list of essential services will be published, including pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers. Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open.
Everyone who is not involved in these vital services will be expected to stay home during the lockdown.
Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa had called on citizens to play their part in flattening the curve of infections in South Africa. Ministers are expected to give citizens a more in-depth overview of the lockdown plans later on Tuesday.
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