Lockdown! Six questions SA has Googled the most (+ we answer them)

26 March 2020 - 11:20 By Cebelihle Bhengu
The national lockdown starts at midnight on Thursday.
The national lockdown starts at midnight on Thursday.
Image: 123RF/Niwan Nuntasukkasame

South Africans are turning to Google for answers to their most burning questions about the country's looming 21-day lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that businesses will shut and the movement of citizens will be limited to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

According to Google search trends data, the questions below were the most searched in SA in the past seven days.

What does lockdown mean? 

It means all South African citizens, except essential workers and some public servants, including members of the military, police and health-care workers, must stay in their homes until midnight on April 16.

Citizens will be allowed to leave their homes only if they have valid reasons, such as buying food and medicines or seeking medical attention.

On Wednesday, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced that public transport operating hours would be limited to eight hours a day.

When is lockdown in SA?

The lockdown starts at midnight on Thursday and ends at midnight on April 16. 

How long has Italy been on lockdown? 

Italy is concluding its third week in lockdown. It started on March 10, TimesLIVE reported.

Which countries are in lockdown?

According to TimesLIVE, Italy, Spain, Germany, Lebanon, France, Venezuela, China, Czech Republic, Israel and Belgium have implemented lockdowns. Worldwide, 500 million people are confined to their homes. 

What to buy for lockdown?

There is no need to hoard more items than needed, but stocking up on healthy and nutritious food is key.

Registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council, Alyssa Pikes, recommended to CNN that people buy canned fish, beans and legumes, nut butters and high-fibre cereals, among other healthy foods, as these will help boost the immune system.

How to prepare for lockdown? 

Most lockdown preparation revolves around wellness — stocking up on healthy food, keeping fit through free online gym, meditation or yoga classes, and reading.

Self-isolating for 21 days can be lonely, but a new normal can be built. TimesLIVE columnist Yolisa Mkele shared some useful tips on how to get through the lockdown.