President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo

Coronavirus in SA: President Ramaphosa is NOT announcing a lockdown tonight

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 21, 2020

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Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa is not going to announce a national shutdown of the country tonight to stave off the coronavirus, his spokesperson Khusela Diko said on Saturday.

Taking to Twitter, Diko urged people to stop spreading fake news that says Ramaphosa would address the nation on Saturday night to announce a lockdown.

"The National Command Council will meet in a scheduled meeting tomorrow (Sunday) to assess implementation of the directives announced by the president last Sunday," Diko said.

"The Council will further consider recommendations on economic relief measures to mitigate against the impact of #CoronavirusInSA . Thereafter, the President will give an update to the nation at a time to be decided at the conclusion of the meeting," she said.

Diko's message comes after a widely circulated voice note made its way onto social media which said that the president was going to announce a lockdown and told listeners to go out and stock up on food and other goods before the lockdown was announced.

This week, as the government's national disaster regulations took affect, people were warned against  spreading false or inaccurate information pertaining to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Those caught spreading such information could face imprisonment for a period of up to six months and/or be liable to pay a fine.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who addressed the media on the Disaster Management Act of 2002, said the act sets forth numerous measures and regulations the government will be implementing to monitor and curb the spread of the virus.

Offences include any statement published on any platform, including online via social media, intended to deceive people about Covid-19, infection status or measures taken by the government to address Covid-19.

Individuals found guilty of this could face prosecution, be liable to pay a fine or both. Any person not infected with Covid-19, who misrepresents that they are, will face a similar penalty.

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