There is panic buying in South Africa as people stock up on food and other essentials ahead of a lockdown on Thursday.

The country has the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the continent, with 554 cases recorded.

The conditions of the lockdown include:

  • Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances
  • All shops and businesses will be closed except those providing essential services
  • Temporary shelters will be set up for the homeless
  • Medical and security personnel will be exempt from the lockdown

The number of new infections – and deaths – is rising fast across Africa, in spite of lockdowns, curfews and travel bans.

In Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, all markets and shops have been closed , except for those selling food and medicine.

France says it will send special aid to the most vulnerable countries, many of which are in Africa.

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