President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the current 21-day lockdown with an additional 2 more weeks.

The president said there were 1,934 cases of Covid-19 in South Africa on Thursday and the lockdown had slowed down the rate of increase, which he said “does represent real progress”.

Ramaphosa said that if government ended the lockdown too soon, the progress gained would be lost. He called on South Africans to be willing to endure another 14 days.

The president said the coronavirus crisis had worsened over the past two weeks, particularly worldwide, with health systems “overwhelmed”.

He said the decision to institute the lockdown had been “correct and timely” and “there is sufficient evidence to show that the lockdown is working”.

“The president’s address follows a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council held yesterday, 8 April 2020 and consultations that the president would have held during the course of the day with various social partners during the course of the day.”

He called on the country to make an even greater sacrifice to save thousands of lives, though he acknowledged the harm that was happening in the economy.

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