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COVID-19: Ramaphosa announces National Lockdown

Mar 23, 2020
COVID-19: Ramaphosa announces National Lockdown

Port Elizabeth - As a last resort to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced to the nation the National Command Council has decided to implement a NationalLockdown with effect from Thursday 26 March 2019.

This comes after the Department of Health confirmed South Africa has 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 128 from Sunday’s announcement.

TheLockdown excludes those in essential services such as medical personel, security forces - army and police.

"Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except in exceptional circumstances," Ramaphosa said.

He added that the SANDF will be deployed to assist in ensuring that measures are adhered to.


A number of additional measures will be implement to strengthen the country's fight against the virus.

"South Africans arriving on flights will be put on automatic quarantine for 14 days. International traveler who arrived in the country after 9 March will be quarantined in their hotels for a period of 14 days," he added.

"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.

"We must applaud the commitment made by the Rupert and Oppenheimer families of R1 billion each."

Ramaphosa said that To alleviate congestion at pay points, grants for pensioners will be available from 30 and 31 March.

"Any employee who falls ill from exporsure will be compensated through the compensation fund," the President said.

"In the event that it becomes necessary we will utilize the reserves in the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Details of these will be made in the next few days.

"The IDC has put a package together with the DTI for industrial funding for vulnerable firms and companies to critical to our effort of fighting the virus."

Ramaphosa warned those seeking to profit from the Coronavirus outbreak.

"I have directed that a special unit of the National Prosecuting Authority be put together and arrest those involved in acts of corruption during this time."

On why government decided to take these measures, he said; "We are convinced the cost of not acting not will be far greater. We will use all of the measures to protect our people from this pandemic.

"I call on all of us one and all to play our part as South Africans. Let us never despair despite the challenges that our country is facing now. May God protect our people."

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