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The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) says it is pleased with the decisive action taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa on combating COVID-19.

On Monday, President Ramaphosa announced a 21-days lockdown of the country effective from midnight on 26 March until midnight on 16 April.

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser, NICD head of Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis professor Cheryl Cohen says the lockdown and social distancing will have an effect on flattening the curve.

There are challenges in terms of the availability of testing kits, the ability to upscale or at the rate which testing can be upscaled. There is a plan to rapidly upscale testing.

Prof Cheryl Cohen, Head - Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

The lockdown is designed to reduce the spread within the community and it is an impactful strategy.

Prof Cheryl Cohen, Head - Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

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It is true that the laboratory system is strained and it will be under strain for the next two days or so.

Prof Cheryl Cohen, Head - Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Professor Cohen says the lockdown is scheduled for Thursday to allow people to prepare and make necessary arrangements.

RELATED: 'Ramaphosa did his part, It is up to all of us to implement and act accordingly'

The things we should do to reduce contact with others should have started a long time ago.

Prof Cheryl Cohen, Head - Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

The best thing to do is to understand how the virus is spread to another person.

Prof Cheryl Cohen, Head - Centre for respiratory diseases and meningitis - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Listen to the full interview below...

This article first appeared on 702 : Lockdown an impactful strategy in flattening the curve

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