South Africa’s lockdown effective, but some problems emerge

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s strict, five-week lockdown, credited with slowing the rate of COVID-19 infections and reducing overall crime, has also been marked by some violence.

The stay-at-home order for the country’s 57 million people does not allow going outside or dog-walking, except for visits to grocery stores, pharmacies and doctors.

South Africa’s restrictions have succeeded in reducing the country’s average daily increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases from 42 per cent to about four per cent since the lockdown began on March 27, said President Cyril Ramaphosa last week when extending the measures until the end of April. Although widely praised as effective, South Africa’s restrictions have been marred by allegations of at least one death from police brutality, the looting of stores and increased reports of gender-based violence.