CAPE TOWN – The Coronavirus pandemic is creating an information overload – We’ve decided to make things easier for you – Here are five things you need to know about the Coronavirus today:
1. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday that Coronavirus infections have increased by 152 to 554.
”Our main priority is to flatten the curve of infection. We are in a battlezone and we are the foot soldiers,” said Mkhize.
2. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day stay at home lockdown effective on Thursday 26 March - 16 April 2020.
All South Africans are required to stay home and will only be allowed to leave for essential services and procurement of goods with ‘good reason’.
All shops and businesses will be closed except for pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, healthcare supplies and transportation of essential goods.
3. As consumers stockpile in fear of disruptions to global food chains amid the Covid-19 pandemic and questions as to whether SA could experience food shortages, AgriSA has said, “there is enough food to feed the nation”.
Around the world, including parts of South Africa, there have been reports of empty supermarket shelves as consumers begin panic buying groceries.
Urging South African consumers to stop panic buying, Agri SA deputy executive director Christo van der Rheede said: “South Africa is food secure and our food supply chain is fully operational and healthy.”
4. Ramaphosa announced that the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) will assist with implementing measures related to the nationwide lockdown.
“I have accordingly directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to support the South African Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented,” he said.
5. The national shutdown could see the number of unemployed citizens jump to 13 million, according to Mike Schussler of economists.co.za. He added small businesses that are digital will survive but some hotels, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and cleaning services will see closures.
“All I can do is guess. I am working on employment, but my best guess is that one in eight jobs go for longer than say two or three months. Unemployment could then peak above 13 million,” Schussler said.
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