COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN A NEW REALITY FOR SOUTH AFRICANS
Article by Natalie Müller
A recent announcement by the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, has seen the country bound to a 21 day lockdown causing panic and trepidation throughout the country, finding itself amassed with a population of unanswered questions posed by the citizens of South Africa.
The country sits on a staggering number of 554 confirmed cases, which is deemed to be a rapid leap in numbers since the first confirmed case of the Covid-19. The increase in confirmed cases in the country has been alarming over what many may see as a short period of time, which may have been a contributing factor to the president calling for a complete 21-day national lockdown as method to contain the spread of the virus.
The number of confirmed cases have risen from 402 to 554 cases since the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address on Monday 23 March 2020 a, making it an increase of 152 confirmed cases in a space less than 24hours.
South African citizens are rightfully marred with a deep sense of worry given that these numbers are more of an influx as opposed to the rapidly growing confirmed cases that had been recorded in Italy, in the first few weeks of their records of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Civilians have resorted to a method of what is referred to as panic buying, in fear of the country running out of resources or a lockdown from access to purchase essential goods. The President has urged the country to refrain from panic buying as the situation is said to be under control.
The panic buying stems from the uncertainty of the number of days in which civilians will be bound to their homes, post the 21 day lockdown. In an interview with some South African citizens, many have voiced how it seems close to impossible to not panic buy due to the governments poor preparations for this outbreak and lack of efficient communication skills, which has led to grave uncertainty.
Citizens need to refrain from panic buying on order to ensure that everyone has access to all basic necessities and essential goods, as well as to allow for the production of pershiables to resume.
The following measures have been put in place after the President’s address to the nation
New Measures :
1. Nationwide lockdown for 21 Days
2. The lockdown begins 26th March 2020 midnight 3. All South Africans to stay home
4. Exempted to operate: emergency personnel, police, health workers, banking, telecommunications companies, supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will be open.
5. Individuals are not allowed to leave home except for food shopping.
6. South African National Defense Force(SANDF) will be deployed to ensure compliance and assistance to police.
7. All South Africans arriving into the country will be quarantined for 14 days before being allowed to go see their families.
8. International travel has been suspended.
9. This is considered the first phase of interventions.
10. More interventions will be introduced later if things escalate.
11. These interventions will assist the country to cope with the number of infections, diagnosis and treatment.
12. Rupert and Oppenheimer have donated R1 Billion each to assist small businesses in this times of hardships.
13. There will be a continuous supply of daily food at supermarkets. There is therefore no need to stockpile foods or buy in bulk.
14. All employees falling ill will be paid their salaries through UIF compensation.
15. Details of these will be made available in due course.
16. All earning below R6500 per month will receive tax relief over the next four months.
17. All will be prosecuted for choosing to exploit in this time.
All South Africans are urged by President Cyril Ramaphosa to adhere to the stringent measures put into place under the Disaster Management Act of 2002 as amended.
These measures have been put into place as an affirmative action plan in assuring that we preserve and protect the lives of all South Africans. By so doing, we each stand to play a pivotal role in ensuring that as a nation we are successful in combating the scourge of the Coronavirus outbreak.
We encourage all South Africans to comply with the laws set out by the government during this critical time, as we work together in fighting the spread of this infectious virus. We urge all South Africans to comply with the lockdown, stay indoors, regularly wash your hands and to clean all surfaces that are regularly touched.
Should you feel any symptoms as outlined below please contact the government Whatsapp line for assistance or immediately contact a health care practitioner.
People may experience:
•Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
Government Covid-19 emergency contact details: WhatsApp support – 0600 123 456
Emergency number – 0800 029 999