Easter weekend

People ignoring lockdown along Voortrekker Road where there have been no roadblocks. Picture: supplied

It was an unusual Easter weekend as the country heard that the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 has been extended to the end of April.

Armed with a mask, gloves and a zoom lens, Northern News took to the roads from Plattekloof to Maitland cemetery, to see how people were spending their time. 

Queues stretched outside some malls as some stores limited the number of customers that could enter at a time. Shoppers were offered hand sanitiser and many people wore masks. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been much debate over whether face masks should be worn. 

The call is now clear: every South African should wear a mask when out and about, said national Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize. 

“We want to recommend widespread use of masks,” says Dr Mkhize. Cloth masks are acceptable.

Some shopping malls are fearing looting of bottle stores. Pallets had been piled in front of a liquor outlet at a Parow mall as added security. 

The Gauteng Liquor Forum has given government until tomorrow, Tuesday April 14, to lift or amend the regulation on the total ban on the sale of alcohol. Failing this, they are threatening to go to court.They believe taverns should be able to sell alcohol, to stop people travelling too far. It should only be for takeaway consumption, during restricted hours and banning promotions that encourage people to buy more booze. 

The nicotine craving is biting hard across the nation as smokers are desperately doing what they can to feed their habit as the sale of cigarettes remains illegal.

One restriction that has been amended relates to informal trading but traders need to obtain permission from their respective municipalities to operate during lockdown. The municipality said applications will be accepted on Tuesday April 14 and permits would be issued on Wednesday. The permit does not allow traders to sell cooked food.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 14-day extension of the country’s lockdown to Thursday April 30. 

Mr Ramaphosa said analysis by scientists has shown that the daily increase in confirmed infections had slowed to a daily average of 3.9% during the lockdown from a daily increase of 42% in the two weeks before lockdown. “The lockdown to stop the path of the coronavirus in South Africa is working. And that’s why there must be more,” he told the country last week.

Infections presently stand at 2 173 people, with 25 deaths nationally.