'This just got real': SA responds to Covid-19 lockdown

23 March 2020 - 20:27 By Jessica Levitt
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown.
Image: Supplied

Millions of South Africans tuned into President Cyril Ramaphosa's televised address to the nation on Monday night as he announced a 21-day lockdown, effective from midnight on March 26, to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Ramaphosa said the next few days were crucial for SA as officials tackled the virus.

He said the decision was made after the government had seen the effect of the virus on other countries across the world.

Ramaphosa acknowledged that though there would be “an effect on livelihoods, the human cost would be far greater”.

He said South Africans would have to remain home and would only be able to leave under strictly controlled circumstances. These include but are not limited to seeking medical attention, buying food and receiving social grants.

“We must do everything to delay the spread of infection over a longer period, known as flattening the curve.”

On social media, the strict new regulations were welcomed.