South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized 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 coronavirus

By

MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated Press

March 23, 2020, 6:33 PM

2 min read

JOHANNESBURG —
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized 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.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the measures Monday in response to the increase of COVID-19 cases to 402. South Africa will be the third country in Africa to close down all but essential economic activity, after Rwanda and Tunisia.

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South Africa’s coronavirus cases jumped to 402 Monday, up 47% from the day before with 128 new cases, increasing worries of exponential growth and making the country the one with the most cases in Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to speak to the nation about the growing threat and many expect him to announce new restrictive measures to try to slow the spread of the disease.

More than half of South Africa’s total cases are in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, the country’s largest city with 5.7 million people, and the capital, Pretoria, with 2.4 million, according to figures released by the government health ministry.

South Africa has overtaken Egypt to become the African country with the highest number of cases. South Africa has not registered a death from the disease. The majority of cases are travelers from Europe and other countries, but the number of cases that are locally transmitted is rising.



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