April 5 — New Zealand was placed in complete lockdown and a state of national emergency  declared  to stop the spread of Covid-19 across the country. New Zealanders are not allowed to leave their homes unless for exercise in their local area, or to get essential supplies. Offices, schools and childcare centres have been closed, along with bars, restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds. Essential services remain open, including supermarkets and pharmacies. Lockdown measures are expected to remain in place for at least four weeks, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warning New Zealanders of zero tolerance for people ignoring the restrictions. 

Picture: GETTY IMAGES/HAGEN HOPINS
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/HAGEN HOPINS

April 6The Treasury says it will take up a $1bn (about R19bn) loan from the New Development Bank (NDB) to fight the Covid-19 epidemic and is still considering facilities offered by other multilateral funding organisations. SA was hit on Friday by another ratings downgrade from Fitch Ratings, which placed the country’s debt two notchesinto junk.

Picture: ALON SKUY
Picture: ALON SKUY

April 7 —  The Western Cape recorded 490 Covid-19 infections by Tuesday — 15 higher than Monday’s total. Premier Alan Winde said 28 patients were in hospital and 10 in intensive care.  The province has allocated an additional  R53m towards funding emergency food relief programmes as it battles a rising number of Covid-19 cases.

Picture: AFP/BARRYCHRISTIANSON
Picture: AFP/BARRYCHRISTIANSON

April 7The largest, brightest supermoon of 2020 rose in the night sky on Tuesday over hushed cities, stilled factories and countries in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed tens of thousands and infected 1.4-million worldwide.  

Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ESA ALEXANDER
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ESA ALEXANDER

April 7 — Officials in  Ukraine divided public opinion by preparing hundreds of graves for coronavirus victims ahead of anticipated deaths. Dnipro city mayor's spokeswoman, Yulia Vitvitska, told AFP the city had dug 615 graves and readied 2,000 body bags in preparation for Covid-19 fatalities. 

Picture: STANISLAV VEDMID/AFP
Picture: STANISLAV VEDMID/AFP

April 8 —  Justice minister Ronald Lamola on Wednesday launched a mass screening campaign for Covid-19  in all correctional centres and remand detention facilities in SA. As part of the contingency plans, correctional facilities have been identified where prisoners infected with the virus can be quarantined away from the general inmate population.

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

April 8 — Street vendors gathered at Jorissen Place in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, to apply for a temporary permit to work during the 21-day national lockdown that started on March 27 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Only food traders (fruits and vegetables) can apply for the permits.

Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

April 9 - Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign on Wednesday, making former vice-president Joe Biden the presumptive nominee to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 3 election. The senator from Vermont dominated the early stages, but faded quickly after losing South Carolina in late February as moderate Democrats consolidated their support behind Biden.

Picture: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER
Picture: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER

April 9 — Standard Bank will distribute about R8.6bn in dividends to shareholders later in April, joining Nedbank and Absa in proceeding with paying recently declared dividends. On Monday, the Reserve Bank’s supervision division, the Prudential Authority, issued a nonbinding recommendation for banks to consider suspending dividends and putting bonuses to senior managers on hold as SA grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

April 9 — President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two week extension of a nationwide lockdown during a televised address to the nation. The president made the announcement following a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Picture: GCIS/SIYABULELA DUDE
Picture: GCIS/SIYABULELA DUDE

April 10 - Church doors will be shut and the Vatican sealed off when Pope Francis leads 1.3 billion Catholics in Easter Sunday celebrations held under a worldwide coronavirus lockdown.

Picture: ALESSANDRO DI MEO / REUTERS
Picture: ALESSANDRO DI MEO / REUTERS