Government officials have identified quarantine sites across the country as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rise from day to day.

The quarantine sites include government buildings, hotels, holiday properties and hospitals.

South Africa has reported the most coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa with 709 confirmed cases.

Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille told a news conference that her ministry had identified more than 16 000 beds in potential quarantine facilities, including government buildings, hotels, holiday properties and hospitals.

It was not immediately clear who the sites would be used for.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned that infections are expected to keep rising, while public health experts worry that the virus could overwhelm the health system if infection rates rise steeply.

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Meanwhile, President President Ramaphosa has been praised for ordering some of the toughest measures on the continent to try to halt the spread of the virus.

Political Analyst from the University of Johannesburg, Professor Mcedisi Ndletyana, has applauded the decisive steps by President.

“I would have hoped the President would have led like this for the past two years and not wait for a catastrophe of this kind to provide the stern and decisive leadership – hopefully this is something he will continue to do in the future because as soon as this thing passes the problems are going to be even more.”

Professor Ndletyana says the President’s leadership and negotiation style has been fruitful for the nation.

“This is one of those instances when consultations because when you shut down the economy you involve a whole lot of people, business, labour and services as well, especially at a crisis like this, government alone cannot do this, the government doesn’t have money, so you have a business that might run out of money and business and retrenchments might be around the corner.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision on the lockdown is not for people to go on holiday or joy rides across the country.

“If people think that President Ramaphosa is giving them a free holiday of three weeks and they go around galavanting, they must know that we going to pay a price for that right now the level of infection are still very very small.”

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa announces a lockdown from Thursday 26 March to  Thursday, 16 April: