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Ramaphosa extends deployment of 20k soldiers to help enforce Covid-19 restrictions

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed Parliament on Thursday of his decision to extend the deployment of 20,000 soldiers, a drop from 76,000, until 30 September to help enforce COVID-19 restrictions as the country reported its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases.


The president first deployed 2,820 members of the South African National Defense a few day before enforcing a nationwide lockdown in late March. The number was increased to 76,000 in April as the health hazard grew.

The money that will be spent on this extension is R1.5 billion, Ramaphosa told the speaker of Parliament.

As at ending of March when SA had just 400 cases, Ramaphosa declared the most difficult lockdown banning anyone but essential workers from leaving home except to buy food or medicine, and prohibiting alcohol sales

On Thursday, South Africa reported its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, adding 8,728 confirmed infections and taking the total count to 168,061, according to health ministry data. Deaths rose by 95 to 2,844.

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