South Africa on 21 days national Lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the country will be placed under a temporary lockdown for 21 days in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

“The action we are taking now will have lasting economic costs. But we are convinced that the cost of not acting now would be far greater,” said Ramaphosa, while addressing the nation on Monday evening.

The lockdown will come into effect from midnight on March 26 to midnight on April 16.

Ramaphosa said all businesses will be closed, except pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial services, supermarkets, petrol stations as well as healthcare providers will be opened.

Summary of Keynote address :

Public health management program

This nationwide lockdown will be accompanied by a public health management program that will significantly increase screening, testing, contact tracing, and medical management.

Community health teams will focus on expanding screening and testing where people live, focusing first on high density and high-risk areas.

To ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed, a system will be put in place for ‘centralized patient management’ for severe cases and ‘decentralized primary care’ for mild cases.

Emergency water supplies – using water storage tanks, water tankers, boreholes, and communal standpipes – are being provided to informal settlements and rural areas.

A number of additional measures will be implemented with immediate effect to strengthen prevention measures. Some of those measures are that:

Economic Interventions

To get things moving, Government is providing seed capital of R150 million and the private sector has already pledged to support this fund with financial contributions in the coming period.

Government has had discussions with manufacturers and distributors of basic necessities, who have indicated that there will be a continuous supply of these goods. There is therefore no need for stockpiling of any items.

All channels for access will remain open, including ATMs, retail point of sale devices, Post Offices and cash pay points.

Support people whose livelihoods will be affected:

Many large companies that are currently closed have accepted their responsibility to pay workers affected. We call on larger businesses in particular to take care of their workers during this period.

Assistance for businesses that may be in distress

 

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