The lockdown is working, says Ramaphosa as he announces two-week extension
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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to extend the national lockdown by a further two weeks.
Ramaphosa made the announcement during an address to the nation on Thursday evening on the eve of the four-day Easter long weekend.
“If we end the lockdown too soon and too abruptly, we risk an insurgence of the disease which will render all our efforts meaningless after all the great sacrifices we have made.
“I stand before you today to ask you to endure even longer. I have to ask you to endure even longer so lives can be saved.
“The National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to extend by a further two weeks.
Most of the existing lockdown measures will remain in force until the end of April,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said government would gradually allow the phased recovery of the economy, but under strict and controlled conditions.
He said the government would ramp up efforts to make public health interventions and said the decision to extend the lockdown was not taken lightly.
Ramaphosa also revealed that there were 1934 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus within the country.
He said there was evidence that measures undertaken by the government in the past two weeks since the lockdown came into effect were effective.
He said the average rate of infection had decreased to 4% on average daily during the lockdown, compared to 42% before it came into effect.