On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step – in democratic South Africa – in asserting a nationwide lockdown to include the unfold of the novel coronavirus.
For the first time in South Africa’s 25 years of democracy, Ramaphosa introduced stringent restrictions which might be each South African’s duty to naked to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 infections.
As of Monday, there have been 402 optimistic Covid-19 instances. The president mentioned the quantity would proceed to rise.
The lockdown, set to start on Thursday and finish on 16 April, will influence nearly each sector of society, in addition to odd individuals.
Here is what you need to know.
Why a lockdown?
Sacrifices and swift motion now will save lives later, Ramaphosa defined in his Monday night time handle to the nation.
“Without decisive motion, the variety of individuals contaminated will quickly enhance from just a few hundred to tens of 1000’s, and inside just a few weeks, to tons of of 1000’s,” he mentioned.
“While this measure can have a substantial influence on individuals’s livelihoods, on the lifetime of our society and on our financial system, the human value of delaying this motion can be far, far larger.”
Who might be affected?
The lockdown will have an effect on everybody.
No one might be allowed to depart their houses for the 21 days until below strictly managed circumstances, together with looking for medical care, shopping for meals, medication or different provides and accumulating social grants.
For homeless individuals, shelters which meet hygiene requirements are being recognized, and for individuals who are unable to self-isolate at residence, quarantine websites might be recognized.
Which companies will stay open?
All outlets might be closed for this era apart from:
– Essential monetary and cost companies, together with the JSE;
– Petrol stations; and
– Healthcare suppliers
“Companies which might be important to the manufacturing and transportation of meals, primary items and medical provides will stay open,” Ramaphosa mentioned.
People mandatory for the response to the virus are additionally exempted from the lockdown, together with well being staff, emergency personnel and safety companies (police, site visitors officers, army medical personnel and troopers).
“It will even embody these concerned in the manufacturing, distribution and provide of meals and primary items, important banking companies, the upkeep of energy, water and telecommunications companies, laboratory companies and the provision of medical and hygiene merchandise.”
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has additionally been deployed to assist the police in making certain these measures are applied.
Protecting our healthcare system
“This nationwide lockdown might be accompanied by a public well being administration programme which is able to considerably enhance screening, testing, contact tracing and medical administration,” Ramaphosa mentioned.
This means group well being groups will deal with increasing screening and testing for Covid-19, particularly in high-density and high-risk areas.
A “centralised affected person administration system” for extreme instances of Covid-19 will even be applied to guarantee hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. Mild instances will obtain “decentralised main care”.
To guarantee individuals practise good hygiene, emergency water provides might be offered in casual settlements and rural areas utilizing storage tanks, water tanks, boreholes and communal standpipes.
Harsher journey restrictions
While restrictions have been positioned on travellers coming in and going out of the nation, Ramaphosa has tightened these measures.
South African residents arriving in the nation can have to endure a 14-day quarantine interval.
International travellers arriving from high-risk counties will merely be turned again.
Those who landed after 9 March from high-risk nations might be confined to their motels for a 14-day quarantine interval.
An financial cushion
Ramaphosa reiterated the dire influence Covid-19 may have on the financial system, which may trigger companies to shut and lots of to lose their jobs.
He introduced financial plans to cushion South Africa in opposition to the influence of the virus, together with a solidarity fund geared at assist for these whose lives have been disrupted and to fight the virus.
Anyone can begin contributing to the fund at www.solidarityfund.co.za.
A security web for individuals in the casual sector whose companies will endure due to the lockdown has additionally been developed, and extra particulars might be introduced.
Further, “to alleviate congestion at cost factors, old-age pensions and incapacity grants might be accessible for assortment from 30 and 31 March 2020, whereas different classes of grants might be accessible for assortment from 1 April 2020”, Ramaphosa mentioned.
ATMs, retail level of sale units, publish places of work and money pay factors will stay open.
Protection for workers
A proposal for a particular dispensation for firms in misery due to Covid-19 has been put ahead.
This will embody wage funds for workers by way of the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme to assist firms pay workers throughout this era and keep away from retrenchment.
Employees who fall sick due to publicity in the office might be paid by way of the Compensation Fund, Ramaphosa mentioned.
He mentioned authorities would supply tax subsidies of up to R500 a month for the subsequent 4 months to non-public sector workers incomes lower than R6 500. This would help over 4 million workers, he mentioned.
Government’s inter-ministerial committee is ready to maintain a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, the place it’s anticipated that a number of ministers in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet will additional clarify the implications and particulars of the lockdown.
Many questions have been raised since the president’s announcement, together with whether or not the safety forces are adequately ready, how motion might be restricted and whether or not or not individuals can nonetheless run or stroll as a type of train throughout the lockdown.
For extra information your method, Orignaly Published on https://citizen.co.za and
live at 2020-03-24 09:01:27