Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has provided some clarity on when South Africans will be able to leave their homes during the 21-day lockdown.
When asked whether South Africans will be able to take their dog for a walk or go to the shops to buy essentials, Mkhize said that this would be fine.
“Shouldn’t be a problem,” he said. “We want to avoid people congregating in large numbers, as well as panic buying.”
Mkhize implored South Africans to exercise restraint and keep a safe distance from others, even people in their own home.
“Between people is where we will stop the virus from spreading,” he said.
“The lockdown is to prevent large gatherings and too many people on public transport spreading the virus back and forth.”
Up to 709 confirmed cases
Ramaphosa announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown in an address to citizens on Monday evening.
The president said swift action was needed to prevent a catastrophe in the country, referring to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased to 709 in the days since this announcement, with Gauteng showing the highest number of cases.
This is up by 155 from the 554 confirmed coronavirus cases announced yesterday, 24 March.
At least 50 of the new positive coronavirus cases have been registered from a church in the Free State, Mkhize said.
“We are very grateful that the churches have cancelled Good Friday celebrations, as this would have made the problem much worse,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize also discouraged South Africans from moving around during the Easter weekend, stressing that citizens must stay in the same place during the lockdown.