News24 answers some of the most frequently asked questions on coronavirus and level 4 of the lockdown in South Africa.
The South African Legal Information Institute has a comprehensive list of all Covid-19 related government documents here.
View a list of what will be allowed under lockdown level 4 here.
View our Covid-19 Money Hub for news and advice on how to manage your money in the time of coronavirus
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QUESTION: Will cloth masks become compulsory in South Africa post-lockdown?
Maybe. South Africans may be compelled to use cloth masks when using any form of transport when the national lockdown is set to lift at the end of April, according to a draft document by the Presidency.
Among the various proposals in the 27-page document, including the restriction of inter-provincial travel and the continued closure of hotels and restaurants, are that the use of cloth masks will become compulsory on all modes of transports. Hand sanitisers must also be made available, and all passengers will be required to sanitise their hands before using any form of transport.
Public transport will be required to be sanitised every single day, and will be allowed to operate at limited capacity.
QUESTION: What are the 7 biggest interventions in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s R500bn coronavirus support package?
Ramaphosa announced an unprecedented R500 billion social and economic support package to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday evening.
The stimulus package comes to some 10% of the country’s GDP.
Speaking in a televised address to provide an update on a special Cabinet meeting held last week, Ramaphosa said R130 billion of the amount will be supported by reprioritising funds from South Africa’s existing Budget, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni set to announce the adjustment budget in due course.
The rest would need to be funded externally, the president said. National Treasury has had engagements with the New Development Bank, the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank.
The support package includes seven major interventions.
QUESTION: Could a measles vaccine help in the fight against Covid-19?
Months into the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a list of 70 vaccine candidates, with three of those already in the first phases of clinical evaluation.
In one of these efforts, France’s Pasteur Institute is working on making use of a modified measles vaccine to trick the body into producing antibodies against the new coronavirus, according to a report.
The Pasteur Institute is renowned for their fight against infectious diseases, having come up with remedies against a number of diseases, including typhoid fever, tuberculosis, yellow fever and HIV.
QUESTION: What are my options when it comes to paying my domestic worker or gardener during the lockdown?
During these uncertain times, South Africans have a lot to grapple with. Not only are most people worried about their health and safety, but also about their livelihoods.
Unfortunately, many people face getting short-paid, temporarily laid-off or even losing their jobs in a few weeks’ time.
Understandably, you are worried about how you will be able to afford to pay your domestic worker, nanny or gardener at this time. We asked Advocate Kaiel Grobler of LAW FOR ALL for advice.
QUESTION: Is it legal to ban alcohol sales?
Yes. The Disaster Management Act explicitly states that the sale of alcohol can also be suspended or limited once a state of disaster has been declared.
Government has warned South Africans that alcohol weakens the immune system.
Fact-checking organisation Africa Check has found that this is indeed the case. Africa Check confirmed with several experts, who cited extensive research, that alcohol affects the immune system, weakening the body’s defence against respiratory infections and that long-term alcohol misuse makes people vulnerable to respiratory infections.
The research further shows that most South Africans who use alcohol are binge drinkers. There also is some evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is harmless in specific circumstances, but the available research is not clear on how much alcohol a person can consume without damaging their immune system.
QUESTION: What is Covid-19 contact tracing and how does it work?
Contact tracing, when combined with physical distancing, has proven to be a powerful asset in controlling the spread of Covid-19.
It’s a term we have become familiar with again since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, but what does contact tracing entail and how is it carried out?
News24 spoke to an expert.
QUESTION: Who can I call if I have a complaint against the police?
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has issued emergency numbers for complaints against the police during the Covid-19 lockdown. IPID’s services are still ongoing during the lockdown, spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said.
A limited number of investigators are on standby in all nine provinces, and provincial management will ensure that their work continues.
The numbers to lay a complaint against the police are:
Eastern Cape: 082 592 9888;
Free State: 063 225 6081;
Gauteng: 076 455 5718;
Limpopo: 078 871 4811;
KwaZulu-Natal: 079 895 2741;
Mpumalanga: 072 881 4196;
Northern Cape: 064 624 8203;
North West: 078 163 6874;
Western Cape: 073 890 1269.
QUESTION: What will I be able to buy during lockdown?Stores will be expected to stick to basic goods. Government’s list of essential goods includes toilet paper, hand sanitiser, all-purpose cleaners, baby formula, disposable nappies, cooking oils, wheat flour, rice, maize meal, pasta, sugar, long-life milk as well canned and frozen vegetables and meat.
QUESTION: What is a coronavirus?
SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is a new strain of coronaviruses that have been around for ages.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds.
In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and Covid-19 can be lethal.
Coronaviruses are believed to cause 15% to 30% of all common colds in adults and children
So, just because you may have a coronavirus, it’s unlikely to be the new strain, or novel, coronavirus.