South Africa confirms the first deaths from Covid-19 and more than 1,000 cases.
The health ministry said on Friday, “This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,”
Sources say that both deaths have happened in hospitals in the Southern province of Western Cape.
Security forces have started imposing a three-week nationwide lockdown to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
The army and the police are banning all movements except for the essential ones.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the soldiers before they were sent from the base in the Soweto township of Johannesburg.
He said, “I send you out to go and defend our people against coronavirus,”
“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.
Food shops will be opened, but alcohol sales are banned. Jogging and dog walking are also not allowed.
Defense minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula threatened, “If people are not complying, they (the military) may be forced to take extraordinary measures,”
Note that schools have already shut down and the government has also banned gatherings of more than 100 people.