Covid-19: Strict measures taken by world leaders in five countries

Measures include enforced staying at home, travel bans and school closures.

23 March 2020 - 11:10 By Unathi Nkanjeni
World leaders have implemented strict measures in their countries to halt the spread of Covid-19.
World leaders have implemented strict measures in their countries to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Image: SIMON MAINA / AFP

World leaders have implemented strict measures in their countries to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The measures include enforcing staying at home, travel bans, school closures and prohibitions on gatherings.

Here are some of the strict measures taken by world leaders in five countries.

Austria 

Austrians have been urged to self-isolate, with police deployed to disperse groups of more than five in public.

Gatherings of more than five people are allowed only for activities serving to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

According to Al Jazeera, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said there should be only three reasons for people to leave their homes: essential work, essential purchases such as food, and helping other people.

Germany 

German authorities issued a ban on more than two people meeting, except for families.

Authorities said such a ban makes more sense than locking people in their homes, the New York Times reported.

The publication reported that the ban was put into place after the country's chancellor, Angela Merkel, went into self-isolation after her doctor tested positive for the virus.

The new rules will be in place for at least two weeks and are among the strictest imposed by any country on movement outside the home. Violators could expect fines up €25,000 (more than R476,00). 

Italy

As Italy’s coronavirus infections ticked above 59,000, with more than 5,400 deaths, the country banned all movement.

Bloomberg reported that Italy's health ministry approved new measures to limit people's movements in an effort to contain the worst outbreak in Europe.

Parks, schools and public gardens have been shut and people are allowed to exercise only around their homes.

The publication added that people would also be restricted to each municipality for reasons other than “non-deferrable and proven business, health reasons or other urgent matters”.

US

Individual states dramatically ramped up restrictions, with New York and Illinois joining California in ordering residents to stay home.

The order applies to everyone, except for those who are needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.

South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the outbreak a national disaster last Sunday.

He announced a ban on travel from high-risk countries, including Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the US, the UK and China.

Ramaphosa also closed down 53 of the country’s 72 ports of entry (land, sea and air).


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