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Ramaphosa extends COVID-19 Lockdown by another 14 days

Apr 9, 2020
Ramaphosa extends COVID-19 Lockdown by another 14 days

Port Elizabeth - South Africans on Thursday came to terms with the prospect of having to stay indoors for an additional 14 days following a televised address by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Fellow South Africans, this evening I stand before you to ask you to endure even longer. I have to ask you to make even greater sacrifices so that our country can survive this crisis and so that lives can be saved.

"After careful consideration of the available evidence the NationalCOVID?19 Command Council has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown by a further two weeks on the initial 21 days," the President told the nation.

"I am keenly aware of the impact that this will have on our economy but I know that unless we take these difficult measures now... the COVID?19 will engulf and ultimately consume our country."

Ramaphosa said that the immediate priority must remain to slow down the spread of the virus and to prevent a massive loss of lives.

"We must do this while preventing the collapse of our economy and saving our people from hunger."

He added; "As government together with our many partners, we have used this lockdown period to both refine & intensify our public health strategy to manage the virus. Our approach is to screen in communities & test people in hospitals & clinics."

Ramaphosa said that since he announced the lock-down, the global Covid-19 has worsened.

"We now have more than 1.5 million confirmed cases worldwide. Over 90 000 people have died worldwide over this disease. The health systems of many countries have been overwhelmed."

Ramaphosa said that the Unemployment Insurance Fund has set aside R40 billion to help employees who will be unable to work, as part of the effort to prevent jobs losses as a result of the lockdown. To date, it has paid out R356 million.

"The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R3 billion for the procurement of essential medical supplies," he added.

"Government has reprioritised R1.2 billion to provide relief to smallholder farmers and to contribute to the security of food supply."





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