- President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa on Thursday night following a meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council
- Speculation leading up to this moment had been widespread as the nation waiting to hear whether or not the lockdown would be extended
- The current lockdown has been extended by another two weeks in a bid to limit the further spread of the virus
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africans on the eve ahead of the Easter weekend and provided some clarity on the current coronavirus crisis.
After two weeks of nationwide lockdown, Ramaphosa filled an anxious country in on the way forward:
"The struggle against the coronavirus is far from over. We are only at the very beginning of a monumental struggle that demands our every resource and every effort. We cannot relax and we cannot be complacent."
Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown would be increased, after careful consideration, by a further two weeks.
The lockdown measures currently in place will mostly remain over the course of this extension. Certain sectors will be allowed to operate during this time and this time.
"We did not take this decision to extend the lockdown likely. As your president I am mindful of the great and heavy burden this will impose on you. I am keenly aware of the impact this will have on the economy."
Briefly.co.za reported that the current number of confirmed cases stood at 1 845 with a total of 18 fatalities according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Ramaphosa was adamant that this decision remains in line with the immediate priority which is to prevent the spread of the virus and limits the loss of life.
Ramaphosa explained that the current strategy is consists of three parts:
- Intensified public health response
- Comprehensive package for economic support
- Program for increased social support
In support of the effort to offer financial support during this period, Ramaphosa announced that he, the deputy president and cabinet ministers will all take a one-third salary cut for the next three months and donate it to the Solidarity Fund.
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