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PRESIDENT Ramaphosa announces lockdown for South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that a countrywide lockdown will come into effect on Thursday. The 21-day lockdown is the latest government intervention to try and control the spread of the coronavirus.

South Africa will go into lockdown from midnight on Thursday, March 26 until April 16, the president announced on Thursday night. 

The president said the lockdown was mandatory and had to be implemented to ensure that the spread of the Covid-19 virus is reduced and the curve is flattened. 

The Department of Health announced earlier on Monday that confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa were now at 402. 

The Northern Cape recorded its first case while Gauteng lead the pack in confirmed cases, with 207 cases in the country’s smallest province.

There had been mounting pressure on the government to lock down the country as fears grew of the possible increase in cases.

Ramaphosa also said people would only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food, seek medical help or under other extreme circumstances.  

Soldiers will be deployed on the streets to support the police, and international travellers who arrived in South Africa after March 9 from “high-risk” countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.

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