President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday for the next three weeks to battle the spread of the coronavirus.

The President was speaking in Pretoria where he announced further measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. South Africa has 402 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Earlier Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said measures that Ramaphosa announces will be applied in a responsible manner.

“As we have said the whole day today the President will this evening at 19:30, address the nation on the measures that government is taking to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus. Any measures that are a little bit drastic to protect our people, those measures will be done in a very responsible manner because still under those circumstances, we will still need to be in touch in communication with our people.”

President Ramaphosa declared a State of National Disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act a week ago.  This was followed by strict regulations which include a ban of gatherings of more than 100 people, also urging the public to practice social distancing as well as tightening the sale of liquor.