South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday ordered a 21-day country-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He ordered South Africans to “stay at home” until midnight on April 16.
Ramaphosa in his address said, “Immediate, swift and extraordinary action is required if we are to prevent a human catastrophe of enormous proportions. “While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far greater.”
South Africa has confirmed 402 COVID-19 infections — the most in Africa. The first one was detected on March 5. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned as much as 70% of the population could contract the illness over time.
While Ramaphosa declared a national disaster a week ago and instituted travel bans, shut schools and banned large gatherings, those measures have failed to slow the pandemic’s spread.