South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday ordered a 21-day blockade across the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
He ordered South Africans to “stay home” until midnight on April 16.
Ramaphosa, in his speech, said: “Immediate, rapid and extraordinary action is needed to prevent a human catastrophe of enormous proportions
“Although this measure has a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and economy, the human cost of postponing this action would be much greater”.
South Africa confirmed 402 COVID-19 infections – the majority in Africa.
The first was detected on March 5. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warned that up to 70% of the population could contract the disease over time.
While Ramaphosa declared a national disaster a week ago and instituted travel bans, closed schools and banned large meetings, these measures failed to slow the spread of the pandemic.