Who would have thought that by Thursday (midnight) of March 26, the lives of many South Africans will be radically disrupted?
Or who would have thought that the world can be brought to its knee by coronavirus with disruptions, restrictions, fear and panic reigning the world over?
Yesterday (March 23), President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown in South Africa from March 26 to April 16. This lockdown will make make people, goods and services unavailable except for few exemptions, which include some of the following:
health workers in the public and private sectors;
those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic;
those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods;
essential banking services;
the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services;
laboratory services; and
those in the provision of medical and hygiene products.
A comprehensive list of essential personnel would be published soon.
Shops and businesses will be closed, except for:
essential financial and payment services, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange;
petrol stations; and
“Any other businesses that are able to continue their operations remotely should do so,” said the President in a sombre mood.