Panic Buyers In South Africa Queue Ahead Of Lockdown

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These are trying times for the people of South Africa – on the eve of a three-week countrywide lockdown, anxiety and uncertainty have set in for many.

South Africa goes into lockdown from midnight (22:00 GMT) when everyone, except for key workers like doctors, will be expected to stay at home.

At the moment there are snaking queues at grocery stores and banks.

It is a sign that, despite assurances that these services will be available during the lockdown, the people are restless and do not want to leave anything to chance.

Businesses like restaurants and stores selling alcohol will be closed.

Others in the medical field, security firms and those selling food will be allowed to stay open.

In the streets, armed soldiers will be on patrol to make sure everyone complies.

These are extraordinary measures for South Africa’s young democracy and the new restrictions have left some crying: “Autocracy!”

But President Cyril Ramaphosa says these steps are necessary if South Africa has any chance of containing the spread of the disease and saving lives.

Yet even on the brink of a health crisis, once more the nation’s class and wealth divides are hard to miss.

While some are bemoaning not being allowed to walk their dogs or jog during the lockdown, some are worried about whether they will have jobs to return to once the storm has passed.

Source: BBC

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