SANDF on standby to assist in Covid-19 mitigation efforts

A leaked memo signed on Sunday shows units will be deployed to eight provinces.
The memo comes as the nation awaits to hear the next step as Covid-19 cases surge to 402. Image: Supplied

The South African Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to assist and support state departments in their efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

A memo signed on Sunday and seen by Moneyweb, states the army’s ground forces have been instructed to “prepare, provide and sustain one sub-unit per province” to provide support for state departments from Monday “until the outbreak is contained”. 

The memo comes as the number of confirmed cases of people with Covid-19 infections surged to 402 on Monday and the nation waits to hear an update from President Cyril Ramaphosa on how the current regulations will be strengthened to mitigate the spread while salvaging the economy.

Read: Breaking: SA Covid-19 cases surge past 400

A week ago Ramaphosa declared a national disaster in response to the rapidly-spreading Covid-19 virus, which resulted in a number of departments issuing regulations pertaining to limits to gathering numbers and restrictions on international travel and alcohol sales in restaurants and stores.

SANDF would not confirm and refute the authenticity of the memo stating that it would comment once Ramaphosa makes his announcement. 

Read: Covid-19: Averting a national disaster

The document makes provision for one subunit to be deployed to seven provinces, except for Limpopo. Gauteng will receive two sub-units of which one will be at the City of Tshwane and the other in the City of Johannesburg. 

SANDF will provide coordinated assistance to the South African Police Service (SAPS) on the ground and ensure that there’s a consistent presence of either law enforcement body. 

The memo states further that neither force “must be used to the detriment of another” or trespass on another’s authority.

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How in the whole world will they control the virus, with crime that will erupt during a lock down?

Why is crime going to erupt in a lock down? I’d think the opposite.

@teamed209 whatever you taking is not good for your health.

teamed, what about looting?

If anything…. they will get infected tooo…..

or they will strike or demand higher wages

The army can never hope to contain this outbreak. Crowded trains, shacks and taxis will see to that.

South Africa already deals with 172 people dying per day, every day, of a contagious lung disease called tuberculosis. The sooner we make peace with a similar or larger fatality rate, the better. It is coming and many more people are going to die than will die in the West. It’s just a fact.

Give the army shovels to start digging !!!

End of comments.

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