March 23, 2020 / 6:36 PM / 2 months ago

South Africa to implement a 21-day lockdown from midnight Thursday - Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a news conference after a meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, in Pretoria, South Africa, October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that the government would impose a nationwide 21-day lockdown from midnight on Thursday to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

In an address to the nation, Ramaphosa said the army would be deployed to assist the police during the lockdown. South Africans will still be able to leave their homes to buy food, seek medical care and collect social grants, Ramaphosa added.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Alexander Winning

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