FILE PHOTO Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: 50 moments from 50 days of lockdown

CAPE TOWN- Due to the Covid-19 outbreak South Africa has been in a nation-wide lockdown for 50 days.

Much has happened since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced what would have been a 21-day stay at home lockdown.

Here’s a recap of the top 50 stories from 50 days of lockdown:

  1. LOOK: South Africans start panic buying. 26 March- It was the first day of lockdown and shop queues were out the doors with South Africans stocking up before the national lockdown starts. 
  2. First 2 Covid 19 deaths in SA. 27 March- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced South Africa’s had recorded its first two Covid-19 related deaths and infections were over 1000.
  3. Moody’s downgrades SA to “junk status”. 28 March- The ratings agency made the call due to South Africa’s escalating debts and its inability to curb its spending.
  4. Ramaphosa announces mass screening and testing. 30 March- President Cyril Ramaphosa said the mass screening and testing would involve over 10 000 healthcare workers.
  5. Students get virtual graduation ceremonies. 31 March- With South Africa on lockdown the University of the Western Cape decided to go ahead with a virtual graduation ceremony. And some graduates took the liberty of planning their own “graduation ceremony” at home.
  6. 67 Covid-19 mobile testing units launched. 1 April- Sampling and testing units were launched by Health minister Zweli Mkhize in Gauteng.
  7. Permit holders can attend funerals in another province. 1 April- Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said only close relatives may travel and no more than 50 people may attend the funeral. 
  8. Look at what South Africans are Google searching. 3 April- Take a look at the most common search queries linked to the coronavirus in South Africa. One of the includes, ‘when will coronavirus end?’.
  9. SA scientists make vital discovery. 6 April- Scientists from the NICD were able to obtain enough virus DNA from a sample to complete a virus genome. 
  10. Here’s what SA kids are doing at home. 6 April- South African children have been creative at home with TikTok being the preferred app for posting hilarious videos of themselves.
  11. South African helping to find Covid-19 cure. 8 April- Caroline Pule, a Stellenbosch University (SU) doctoral candidate is using her expertise to join a global team of researchers to understand and ultimately, find a cure for Covid-19.
  12. Adapting to homeschooling– Families across the country have adopted homeschooling, and although this method is flexible, it comes with challenges.
  13. How do you make your own alcohol? 9 April- As the lockdown in South Africa continued, there was a surge in alcohol related google searches. 
  14. Lockdown extended by 2 weeks. 9 April- President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa’s national lockdown would be extended by two weeks, beyond the initial 21 days.
  15. Infections hit over 2000.- 10 April- The death toll due to Covid-19 in South Africa was 24 with 2003 positive infections.
  16. Masks are recommended. 11 April-. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says all South Africans should wear masks. The Minister recommended that people use cloth masks & that medical masks be reserved for use by healthcare professionals.
  17. Repo rate cut in SA. 14 April- The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) cut the repo rate by 100 basis points. This takes the repo rate to 4.25% per annum, meaning South Africans will be paying less on their debt.
  18. Abdool Karim presents Covid-19 findings.14 April- world-renowned epidemiologist and chair of South Africa’s Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee Professor Salim Abdool Karim presented South Africa’s Covid-19 response.
  19. SA ranks 2nd for reliable news. 16 April-  According to Covid19 Infodemics Observatory, South Africa ranks second after Singapore for the most reliable Covid-19 related news and information.
  20. WHO praises SA’s ‘aggressive strategy’ against Covid-19. 17 April-  Representatives from the WHO acknowledged that South Africa’s “aggressive strategy” in managing the Covid-19 outbreak is beginning to flatten the curve. 
  21. South Africa’s Covid-19 death toll hits 50. 17 April- The Covid-19 death toll in South Africa had hit 50. Infections were at 2783.
  22. Ramaphosa says alcohol ban will not be lifted. 17 April- Ramaphosa confirmed that the national alcohol ban will not be lifted until the end of the lockdown. This after the Gauteng Liquor Forum sent a letter to the President and argued that the total ban on the selling of alcohol is unreasonable
  23. R500 billion rand for economic relief. 21 April- Ramaphosa announced that R500 billion rand will be channelled into healthcare, vital municipal services and social relief. Here’s how the funds were allocated
  24. Ramphosa introduces phased lockdown strategy. 23 April – The President outlined a phased relaxation of the National lockdown and an alert system with clearly defined levels of restriction which can be imposed by the National Command Council as necessary. Here are the 5 levels of lockdown explained. 
  25. Restaurants open for delivery only. 25 April- Restaurants and takeaways will be open, but no sit-in will be allowed. This was announced by Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel on Saturday.
  26. Global Covid-19 cases hit the 3 million mark. 28 April- In less than four months, the global confirmed Covid-19 cases had surpassed the 3 million mark with the United States making up for almost a third of the cases.
  27. 217 Cuban doctors are flown in to SA. 28 April- 217 doctors arrived from Cuba to help #COVID19 fight. 
  28. Over 100 Covid-19 deaths in SA. 29 April- South Africa’s Covid-19 death toll reaches 103, infections were 5350.
  29. Lockdown level 4 is outlined. 29 April- Minister Dlamini-Zuma led the briefing on regulations relating to Covid-19 alert level 4. The NCCC made a U-turn with their decision on the sale of cigarettes. 
  30. An estimated 40% of South Africans go back to work. 1 May- Minister Patel said the reopening of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors estimates more than 40% of South Africans leaving their homes and going back to work. 
  31. 7 day window period for interprovincial travel. 2 May- South Africans were given a week to travel to another province under Level 4 of lockdown. 
  32. Ghanaian pallbearers make top memes of 2020. 2 May- By now, you have most likely seen the memes of a group of men dancing with a coffin to a catchy tune. It is a team of Ghanaian pallbearers who are typically used at funerals to lift the spirits of mourners.
  33. The alleged Madagascan Covid-19 cure.3 May- The Madagascar Cure trends on Twitter. It is a herbal remedy claiming to cure and prevent Covid-19. 
  34. Homemade beer could have killed a Northern Cape couple. 5 May- Due to level 4 lockdown restrictions, people have resorted to other means of consuming alcohol – the popular method being home brewing or making your own alcohol.
  35. SA companies closing down due to Covid. 7 May- While the level 4 lockdown allowed various industries to re-open their doors, some companies have closed down or will not be able reopen at least until 2021.
  36. SARS tax filing season changed. 7 May- South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Edward Kieswetter outlined changes that would be implemented during the current tax season.
  37. How you could be fined during lockdown. 9 May- Those who don’t stick to the rules under the Disaster Management Act, could face fines varying between R500 and R5000. 
  38. SA Covid-19 cases breach 10 thousand. 10 May- South Africa recorded 10 015 Covid-19 infections, while deaths stood at 194.
  39. SA comedians provide lockdown laughs. 11 May- Some South African actors and comedians have used this time out of work to keep the nation laughing. 
  40. Independent Schools want to reopen before June 1. 11 May- The National Alliance of Independent Schools Association (NAISA) wants the Department of Basic Education to reopen schools before the proposed opening date.
  41. SAB Begin Dumping of Beer. 11 May- Lockdown laws prohibit the sale and transportation of alcohol which has directly affected South African Breweries (SAB) with their only solution being to dump stored beer.
  42. Cape scientists isolate SA’s first live Covid-19 culture. 11 May- A team of scientists in the Western Cape have isolated a pure live culture of the Covid-19 virus which will be used in experimentation.  
  43. SA nurses who lost their lives due to Covid-19 are remembered. 12 May- International Nurses Day, SA remembers and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus.
  44. Car sales and certain clothing reopened under Level 4. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel issued directions that a wider range of clothing, footwear and bedding may be sold by retailers during level 4 lockdown.
  45. “I tested positive for Covid-19”, a Fish Hoek mom of two shares. 13 May- Susan Cameron who tested positive for Covid-19 recalls symptoms and experiences of having the virus. 
  46. Ramaphosa addresses the nation again. 13 May. The President announced that South African Covid-19 hotspots with high infection rates could remain in lockdown level 4, while others transition to level 3.
  47. Locals are happy to be back at work. 14 May- Despite the risk of being infected by Covid-19, locals are happy to be back at work and earn a salary.
  48. Comrades cancelled, no refund for runners. 14 May- 
  49. All online shopping now allowed except cigarettes or alcohol. 14 May- South African online stores are permitted to sell any product besides alcohol and cigarettes under lockdown alert level 4.
  50. South Africa has made it to day 50 of lockdown!


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