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Dirco working to assist S. Africans stranded in lockdowns abroad

South Africa is not the only country that implemented restrictions on people’s movements, travel, and trade among others - many other countries are also under lockdown.

FILE: International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: @DIRCO_ZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Government on Monday said it was working with its ambassadors across the world to assist South Africans stranded in other countries as a result of the lockdowns implemented by many nations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21 days lockdown in the country, which started on Friday as the country tried to contain the spread of the COVID-19.

The announcement was followed by the shutdown of operations by airlines in the country.

South Africa is not the only country that implemented restrictions on people’s movements, travel, and trade among others - many other countries are also under lockdown.

This led to airlines across many nations shutting down operations, leaving many stranded including eight South Africans in Qatar.

“There are eight of them there, the first 48-hours was really chaotic and they were sleeping on the floor and trying to make things happen. They didn’t have personal protective equipment,” said Clifford Hanks, the father of one of those South Africans.

Listen to the audio below for more:

Other citizens were trapped in the UK, Morocco, and Ghana amongst other countries.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said government was aware.

“The minister has asked embassies to collect information to understand exactly how many South Africans across the world are stranded so that we can be able to make a decision,” he said.

Ngqengelele said Minister Naledi Pandor would announce how government would assist these South Africans in due course.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus in South Africa, click on this live status report from the Department of Health.