Most of Africa on lockdown

Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

On Monday South Africa joined a host of countries across the continent and around the world when President Cyril Ramphosa declared a national lockdown.

Ramaphosa said the country would be under lockdown starting on Thursday midnight until April 16.

Similar measures were introduced by Senegal president, Macky Sall, who told the West African country that: “The speed of the progress of the disease requires us to raise the level of the response.”

Madagascar also started a two-week shutdown on Monday while Kenya moved to close bars, restaurants and places of worship.

The Rwandan government has closed non-essential businesses, instated a travel ban on movement between cities and restricted non-essential movements outside homes.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a 48-hour lockdown was instated in the city of Lubumbashi, where media outlet France 24 reported that security forces were deployed and streets were “deserted and stores were closed”.

Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Nigeria have since moved to close borders into the countries. Forty three of the 54 African countries have now declared positive cases of the virus.

Further abroad, in a televised address, United Kingdom prime minister, Boris Johnson, said the critical thing the country needed to do was to stop the virus from moving between households.

“People will be allowed to move around for the following very limited purposes:  shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise, for example, a run, a cycle alone or with members of your household; any medical need to provide care or help a vulnerable person and travel to and from work; but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. That is all.”

 

The prime minister went on to discourage meetings between

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