A man wearing a mask, walks on the street in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, March 23, 2020. South Africa, Africa’s most industralized economy and a nation of 57 million people, will to go into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Thursday to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
UPDATED 6:53 AM PT — Tuesday, March 24, 2020
South Africans are preparing for a government mandated 21-day lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus. On Monday, the country’s president ordered residents to “stay home” for three weeks starting on March 26 and ending on April 16.
Police will reportedly be enforcing the restrictions and non-essential businesses will be closed. There are now more than 400 confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa.
“The nation wide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission across society,” stated President Cyril Ramaphosa. “I have accordingly directed the South African National Defense Force to be deployed to support the South African Police Service.”
South Africa is now the third African country to initiate a nationwide lockdown.