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Coronavirus: SA begins 21-day lockdown

The South African military have begun enforcing a three-week nationwide lockdown in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus.

All but essential movement is prohibited and both the army and the police are enforcing the measures.

Police Minister Bheki Cele gave the breakdown, explaining that food shops will be permitted to remain open, although alcohol sales are banned.

Jogging and dog walking are also forbidden.

Ahead of the midnight deadline, long queues popped up outside supermarkets as people stocked up on essential goods.  

Late on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa visited soldiers before they were deployed from a base in the Soweto township of Johannesburg.

Wearing a camouflage uniform, Mr. Ramaphosa told the troops: “This is unprecedented, not only in our democracy but also in the history of our country, that we will have a lockdown for 21 days to go out and wage war against an invisible enemy, coronavirus.”

South Africa has reported 927 cases of Covid-19 – the highest in Africa – but so far no deaths.

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