Experts believe that even though a nationwide lockdown is a drastic step, it is imperative to curb the spread of the new coronavirus or Covid-19 in South Africa.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that overall nationwide seclusion would be set for 21 days. It will come into effect on Thursday, March 26 at 00:00. The South African National Defense Force (SANDF) has also been placed on a readiness basis to assist the police and other government departments in the new measures.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the DA welcomes this decision. “Closing our country and deploying the SANDF is something no South African would ever want to see in peacetime, but given the seriousness of the matter, it’s absolutely the right thing to do,” he said.
Steenhuisen says the threat posed by Covid-19 to South Africa is similar to a war situation. “Three weeks of drastic measures can now save many lives and buy critical time for our healthcare professionals to deal with the crisis as it unfolds. If we do not make this sacrifice now, we will pay a much higher price in the long run. ”
The agricultural organization TAU SA has also put its weight behind the president’s decision. “It is in the interest of South Africa,” said Louis Meintjes, president of TAU SA, in turn.
“We are delighted that the President, especially at this time, recognizes the important role of the commercial farmer in ensuring food security and delivery. However, it is important to keep in mind that the overall agricultural value chain must be included. The farmer cannot get his products at outlets if parts and fuel are also not available. ”
According to dr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, seems to be an overall nationwide seclusion best practice in other countries to prevent loss of life. Countries that have already declared nationwide isolation amid the Covid-19 pandemic include; Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Portugal, and New Zealand.
Groenewald says, however, that the FF Plus is concerned as Ramaphosa himself acknowledged that the country’s health services will not be able to cope with a major outbreak of the virus. The party is also concerned about the economy.
“The three-week restriction has serious consequences for the economy and will result in job losses, but it can be much worse and even last up to three months if not met strictly by everyone,” Groenewald says.
The City of Cape Town, in turn, welcomed overall nationwide seclusion. The City is calling on its residents to remain calm as grocery stores and pharmacies will still be open over the next three weeks.