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JOHANNESBURG — Customers started behaving oddly about a week ago, visibly dejected street vendor Frank Mojapelo said. Some were wary to exchange cash. Some backed away, or refused to touch him.

Now, an unprecedented lockdown looms in South Africa over the coronavirus, with a country of 57 million people told to stay home starting Friday. Virus cases leapt again to 554 on Tuesday, the most of any country in Africa. Forty-three of the continent’s 54 countries now have cases, with the total at 2,046, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The next few weeks will be tough, Mojapelo said. Though people will be allowed to leave home under “strictly controlled circumstances” to access essential items, he doubts he can continue selling boiled eggs, candy and homemade pickles out of the trunk of the car that he pulls up onto the Johannesburg sidewalks.

Small businesses expect to suffer. And that pain could grow across Africa as more countries impose tougher measures. Economies are expected to take a severe hit as borders close and trade drops.

Africa needs a $150 billion emergency financing package, Ethiopia’s government said in a proposal to the G20 global forum for economic cooperation ahead of the G20 summit.

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