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South Africa fights against coronavirus

The South African government announced a 21-day lockdown as coronavirus cases surge. There were 402 cases on March 23, which makes this country the one with the most Covid-19 cases in Africa, surpassing Egypt.

Another new measure will be the construction of a 40km fence along the border with Zimbabwe, to ensure that “no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country,” said the Minister of Public Works and Infrastrukture Patricia de Lille,  quoted by Al Jazeera. This decision has been controversial because Zimbabwe had only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on March 23.

After 1994, as South Africa was transitioning into democracy, it was considered one of the most “progressive systems of refugee protection.” That openness has been deteriorating over the years. During last year, South Africa experienced a wave of xenophobic attacks and violence against migrants.    

In terms of the number of migrants, South Africa is the most significant destination country in Africa, according to the 2020 report by the UN migration agency (IOM). It hosts an estimated 4 million international migrants. The majority of them come from neighbouring Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho.

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