South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the Coronavirus pandemic a disaster and subsequently called for a national lockdown from midnight on Thursday. This after a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the country, including local transmission.
Announcing the lockdown on Monday, Ramaphosa said everyone should stay at home except the following categories of people;
-Health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic.
-It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products. A full list of essential personnel will be published.
-Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.
-Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.
-All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.
-Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open.
-Companies whose operations require continuous processes such as furnaces, underground mine operations will be required to make arrangements for care and maintenance to avoid damage to their continuous operations.
-Firms that are able to continue their operations remotely should do so.
-Provision will be made for essential transport services to continue, including transport for essential staff and for patients who need to be managed elsewhere.
-The nationwide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission across society.