National lockdown

Kraaifontein residents say they were being turned away from Kraaifontein Community Health Centre.

The country will be under lockdown from midnight tomorrow, Thursday March 26, until Thursday April 16 to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was imposing strict measures as he was concerned that a rapid rise in infections would stretch our health services beyond what we can manage and many people would not be able to access the care they need.

“We must therefore do everything within our means to reduce the overall number of infections and to delay the spread of infection over a longer period – what is known as flattening the curve of infections.

“It is essential that every person in this country adheres strictly – and without exception – to the regulations that have already been put in place and to the measures that I am going to announce this evening.”

The president said the next few days are crucial.

“Without decisive action, the number of people infected will rapidly increase from a few hundred to tens of thousands, and within a few weeks to hundreds of thousands.

“This is extremely dangerous for a population like ours, with a large number of people with suppressed immunity because of HIV and TB, and high levels of poverty and malnutrition.

“We have learnt a great deal from the experiences of other countries. Those countries that have acted swiftly and dramatically have been far more effective in controlling the spread of the disease.”