The South African Police have arrested two persons positive to COVID-19 for failure to self-isolate.
They have now been charged with attempted murder.
The Police Minister, Bheki Cele, announced the charges, Wednesday during a press conference, where he detailed the enforcement of an incoming lockdown meant to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
Cele said: “If you break these law of regulations, you could be six months in, or fined, or both.”
According to him, two people have been charged already for deliberately moving around after they were advised not to.
The police minister added: “So it is not a fairytale to say the law will act and act very harsh on you.”
According to the AFP, the first confirmed case was a 52-year old salon owner diagnosed on March 18 and instructed to quarantine for at least 14 days.
Police spokesperson, Vish Naidoo, said local officials raised the alert on Tuesday after one of the men was seen around the western city of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province.
“He allegedly continued with his business, and in doing so disregarded the instructions by a doctor. The man has since been arrested and taken to hospital,” Naidoo added.
The second charge was filed against a male tourist, who tested positive for COVID-19 while on holiday at Kruger National Park.
“The man ignored instructions to remain in his hotel room and went to the nearby town of Saint Lucia, where he interacted with an unknown number of people,” the police spokesman noted.
South Africa is said to have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections on the African continent with 709 cases confirmed so far.
As a result, the President, Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown after the number of infections multiplied six-fold in just eight days.
Naidoo noted: “Only essential trips to grocery stores, pharmacies and medical appointments will be permitted during the lockdown, which will be enforced by army troops.”
Speaking further, he said the simplest and best way to combat the spread of the virus was to “stay home”.
“It is exactly that stubborn behaviour that has caused us a national lockdown,” he added.