March 23 — In a bid to slow the infection rate of the new coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a nationwide 21-day lockdown, which came into effect at midnight on Thursday, March 26. “Staying at home, avoiding public places and cancelling all social activities is the preferred best defence against the virus,” the president said in a televised address.

Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE
Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE

March 25 — As Covid-19 infections continued to grow, countries around the world went into lockdown to curb its spread. The Giza pyramids necropolis on the southwestern outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo was closed to the general public as a protective measure and so it could be deep cleaned.

Picture: AFP/KHALED DESOUKI
Picture: AFP/KHALED DESOUKI

March 25 — Pigeons, normally fed by tourists, search for food over people sitting at the almost empty Bolivar Square, in Bogotá. Colombia, the third most populous country in Latin America, began a compulsory 19-day general lockdown early on  Wednesday to try to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

Picture: AFP/ JUAN BARRETO
Picture: AFP/ JUAN BARRETO

March 25 — A number of politicians around the world have been infected with the virus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being the latest. A number have isolated themselves while President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that his tests came back negative. Below: French President Emmanuel Macron wears a face mask during the visit of the military field hospital outside the Emile Muller Hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France.

Picture: AFP/MATHIEU CUGNOT
Picture: AFP/MATHIEU CUGNOT

March 26 — In recent weeks, China’s tally of infections has dwindled dramatically, with only a handful of domestic patients each day. Parts of the country, where the very first cases were recorded in December, have started to reopen. This aerial photo shows a night view of Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province, where the coronavirus originated.

Picture: AFP/STR
Picture: AFP/STR

March 26Ugandan police said on Friday that two men were in hospital after being shot for violating restrictions on transport in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Police officers chased street vendors in Kampala on Thursday after President Yoweri Museveni directed the public to stay home for 32 days.

Picture: AFP/ BADRU KATUMBA
Picture: AFP/ BADRU KATUMBA

March 26 — As the virus continued to spread, the number of fatalities climbed. By Friday, it had claimed more than 25,000 lives, according to the John Hopkins University, the majority in Italy and Spain. In Italy, which has the highest number of fatalities in the world, coffins had to be stored in a warehouse in Ponte San Pietro.

Picture: AFP/ PIERO CRUCIATTI
Picture: AFP/ PIERO CRUCIATTI

March 26 — As a number of cities and countries across the world declared lockdowns, residents found creative ways to entertain themselves, from national anthems echoing though the streets of Italy, to the British clapping for its National Health Service workers, to musicians entertaining their neighbours from balconies. French tenor Stéphane Sénéchal performed O sole mio from his window in Paris on the evening of the 10th day of a strict curfew.

Picture: AFP/PHILIPPE LOPEZ
Picture: AFP/PHILIPPE LOPEZ

March 26 — On the eve of a three-week lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed soldiers before they were deployed across the country. Reports revealed on Friday that the defence force will be deployed until June, at a cost of more than R641m.

Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

March 27 — Suspects are lined up against a wall as a member of the SA police wearing gloves arrests them for defiying the lockdown order during an operation in the Johannesburg CBD. 

Picture: AFP/MICHELE SPATARI
Picture: AFP/MICHELE SPATARI

March 27 — On the first day of the lockdown, businesses were closed and many streets empty after South Africans were told to stay at home. The 21-day lockdown is aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. Sifundo Mkhize is seen on the deserted Oxford Road in Sandton.

Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ THAPELO MOREBUDI
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ THAPELO MOREBUDI