President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to pray on Thursday evening between 6 PM and 6:30 PM in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be six hours before the 21-day nationwide lockdown declared to help curb the spread of the virus.
Currently the country has recorded 709 COVID-19 infections and there are fears this could increase.
Ramaphosa says this is the moment when South Africans need to act together as one patriotic nation in solidarity with all those affected or impacted by COVID-19, not just in South Africa but around the world.
“These are challenging times. We are traversing a path we have never travelled before. There are many amongst us who are fearful, uncertain and vulnerable. I call on our people to offer a prayer and a thought for the protection and healing of our land and its people from this disease,” Ramaphosa says.
“Over the past two weeks, South Africans from all walks of life have demonstrated their resilience by complying with the restrictions that have been placed on their lives. Because we are in a state of national lockdown our prayers must be offered from our hearts and in our homes,” he says.
This graphic shows a 21 day lockdown measures
Speaking at a security cluster briefing on the stringent measures that will come into effect during the lockdown period, ministers stressed the seriousness of the situation. They warned that people who do not comply will face the full might of the law.
Police Minister Bheki Cele says alcohol consumption in public areas and the sale of alcohol during the 21-day national lockdown is prohibited.
Cele was briefing media in Pretoria about measures that his department will be taking to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
In the video below, Bheki Cele speaks about security measures for COVID-19:
Increase in coronavirus cases
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says he is concerned about the drastic increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the country.
The minister announced earlier that the number of infections has increased to 709 overnight showing an increase of 155 cases in a day up from 554 from on Tuesday.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the SABC, Mkhize says the most increases were in Gauteng where there are 64 new cases.
He says there is still going to be quite an increase in the number of cases.
Below is the full interview on Morning Live:
INFOGRAPHIC: Isolation vs Quarantine
Isolation vs Quarantine by SABC Digital News