Saturday , 24 July 2021

COVID-19 : South Africa deploys 70,000 troops to enforce lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that his administration will deploy more than 70,000 extra troops to help enforce a lockdown intended to stop the spread of coronavirus.

South Africa has had 3,465 confirmed coronavirus cases – second only to Egypt in Africa – and 58 deaths.

The country has some of the most stringent coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the world.

But security forces have struggled to enforce them.

But, South Africa’s Communication Minister Stella Ndabeni has admitted to failing to follow the lockdown rules and has paid a 1,000 rand ($53;£42) fine as ordered by the senior magistrate in the Tshwane district court.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Phindi Mjonondwane said the minister’s court case proves that all citizens are equal and no-one should break the law.

The minister was pictured at a former colleague’s house having lunch during an ongoing lockdown aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.

The minister was summoned by Ramaphosa and was placed on two months special leave.

She later apologised publicly for undermining lockdown rules.

Since March 27, only essential service providers, such as health workers, financial services providers, journalists and retail workers, are allowed to continue going to work.

Businesses that provide essential services have been applying for a special permit from the government that allows their members of staff to go outside.

The restrictions include no jogging outside, no sales of alcohol or cigarettes, no dog-walking, no leaving home except for essential trips and prison or heavy fines for law-breaking.

After the ban on alcohol, there was a wave of looting of liquor shops.

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