Coronavirus: South Africa deploys 70,000 troops to enforce lockdown

More than 70,000 extra troops will be deployed in South Africa to help enforce a lockdown intended to stop the spread of coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced.

South Africa has had 3,465 confirmed coronavirus cases – second only to Egypt in Africa – and 58 deaths.

The country has some of the most stringent coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the world.

But security forces have struggled to enforce them.

Since 27 March only essential service providers, such as health workers, financial services providers, journalists and retail workers, are allowed to continue going to work.

Businesses that provide essential services have been applying for a special permit from the government that allows their members of staff to go outside.

The restrictions include no jogging outside, no sales of alcohol or cigarettes, no dog-walking, no leaving home except for essential trips and prison or heavy fines for law-breaking.

The initial army deployment came as no surprise – 2,280 troops were deployed at the beginning of the lockdown 27 days ago.

But this latest deployment has shocked many – it is the country’s biggest military deployment for domestic purposes since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

Many believe the deployment, which is expected to conclude at the end of June, means that the enforcement will be strengthened and that the country could face yet another lockdown extension.

Some have raised concerns, saying the country will resemble a military state. They note that more than a dozen soldiers are already under investigation for brutality after allegedly killing a man in Alexandra township, in northern Johannesburg.

Critics adding that the middle class, which hasn’t suffered any harassment by the army is sitting comfortably, while poor people are literally dying at the hands of the soldiers.

The president’s supporters say it was a tough call to make, that the country’s police need help to control people and the army deployment will ensure that citizens respect the government measures which have been put in place to save the lives of South Africans

Eredivisie: Dutch top flight likely to be cancelled after major events ban extended

The Dutch Football Association “intends not to continue” the Eredivisie season after the national government extended a ban on major events until 1 September because of coronavirus.

Ajax and AZ Alkmaar are leading the Dutch top flight level on points after 26 games, with Ajax ahead on goal difference.

Dutch football’s governing body KNVB said in a statement it “intends not to continue playing the 2019/20 competition” but will consult Uefa before making a final decision.

Earlier on Tuesday, Uefa said some European leagues could be cancelled “in special cases” because of the pandemic.

COVID-19: THIEVES DISGUISED AS MEDICAL PERSONNEL

At around 1:00am early On 21st April, some 3 or 4 people went to a building in Ikoyi and called to the guard of the building saying they were from the hospital, because they had information that there was a corona patient in the building and they had come to take him. They repeatedly instructed the guard to open the Main Gate.

According to the guard’s description, two or three of them were wearing PPE masks and gloves, and two in army uniform. They also wore masks and gloves.

Though the guard was a bit shaken, he made it clear to them that the landlord himself would have to tell him to open the gate.

If they really have to take a corona patient, they have to wait outside till the morning.

As the guard did not open the gate, they said they would come back later in the morning.

Surprisingly no one came in the morning to get the supposed corona patient, because there is really no corona patient in that house.

So it is clear that those who came to the house to take the corona patient were thieves!

The entire building was saved from an unpleasant incident due to the guard’s intelligence.

This is shared to let people know that thieves are now using the issue of evacuating a corona patient to gain entrance into buildings and rob people. Most likely there were other accomplices hiding and once the guard opens they will take over.

All landlords / flat owners should alert their doorman / guard of their house, of this new trend. They should not even go out to speak with any such ‘visitors’ but engage them at a safe distance.