The health ministry in South Africa reported the country's first two deaths.
To date, there are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa, the ministry said in a statement. "This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19," the ministry said.
At midnight Thursday, police and the military began enforcing an order forbidding all but essential movement. Before the deadline, there were long lines at supermarkets as people stocked up on supplies, according to the BBC.
Under the order, grocery stores are allowed to remain open, but liquor stores will be closed. Police Minister Bheki Cele urged citizens to stay sober during the lock down.
Activities such as jogging and dog walking are prohibited. South Africa had already closed its borders, allowing only essential supplies to come into the country. Officials said the lockdown could be extended if the situation with the growing number of infections doesn't improve.