KAMPALA – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a three-week national lock-down to contain the spread of the deadly new coronavirus which has affected more than 400 people in the country.
South Africa has overtaken Egypt to become the African country with the highest number of cases. South Africa has not registered a death from the disease. The majority of cases are travelers from Europe and other countries, but the number of cases that are locally transmitted is rising.
President Ramaphosa said government “has decided to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday the 26th of March” to “avoid a human catastrophe”.
“The next few days are crucial. Without decisive action the number of actions will increase. This extremely dangerous for a population like ours. Our fundamental task is to contain the spread of the disease. We must therefore do everything to reduce the overall number of infections,” he said.
The South African National Defence Force have been tasked to join the police to ensure the strict enforcement of the new rules.
The president also outlined a series of economic interventions from the government and with the cooperation of relevant private sector bodies. “We have set up a solidarity fund which focuses on efforts to combat the spread of the virus. The fund will compliment what we are doing in government. The fund will be chaired by Gloria Serobe.