According to the South African government, 2003 people have been infected with coronavirus cases. 24 have died and there have been 410 recoveries since the outbreak began.
Africa’s most industrialised nation has the most confirmed coronavirus cases on the continent, and that number is expected to rise significantly as the government embarks on a mass testing drive.
On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa extended a lockdown for two additional weeks in the hopes stemming the spread of the coronavirus. Mr. Ramaphosa says ending the lockdown too soon would risk a “massive and uncontrollable resurgence” of the virus.
The lockdown, originally imposed on March 27 and due to last for 21 days, is one of the toughest measures imposed by an African government to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 1.5 million people globally and killed almost 90,000.
Ramaphosa won praise for announcing the lockdown early, before the country had recorded any deaths.
“Since the lockdown began, the rate of identified new cases has slowed. Together with other measures like closing our borders and putting an end to public gatherings, we are seeing progress”, said the president.
“If we continue to observe social distancing and proper hygiene, if we continue to scale up detection and testing to ensure those who need medical care get it, we will be able to turn things around”.
The president urged everyone to work together, “side by side” to ensure that South Africa, “will weather this storm and overcome.”
President Ramaphosa: This is a matter of survival, and we dare not fail. We shall recover. We shall overcome. May God bless South Africa and protect her people. #Covid19 #CoronavirusInSouthAfrica https://t.co/Hsn7AifbNr pic.twitter.com/hXTZwa3Vcz
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 10, 2020