On Monday, March 23, the South African President announced a three-week lockdown starting from March 26 midnight. The step taken by the government is said to hopefully avoid a human catastrophe.
The President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has asked the army to enforce the restrictions. Just over 400 cases have been reported in the country so far. The new measures are being enacted to reduce the impact of the virus in the country. "This nationwide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission across society," reportedly said the President.
The President said that the next few weeks were crucial in controlling the Covid-19 in the country. Without proper action, the number of cases might increase in the country. There are several cases of HIV and TB in the country which means that the country has an issue of the people having a lot of immunity issues.
Measures to be taken by South Africa
South Africa is the third African country to go into lockdown amid the coronavirus spread. Tunisia and Rwanda are the other two countries to implement the lockdown. So far they have not reported any deaths.
The lockdown would lead to the closure of non-essential businesses. The country is also planning on establishing a 'National Disaster Benefit' fund to ensure that workers are paid compensation when they are laid-off because of the impact of the coronavirus on the businesses. South Africa is under fiscal strain even before the disease outbreak and the three-week shutdown.
By Thursday, the measures will be announced formally. According to Matthew Parks, parliamentary coordinator at the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the fund would cover job losses related to the outbreak, which will support job retention, illness payouts, and reduced time claims. If the measures are implemented then this would be the most concrete action taken by the country against the disease.