South Africa now records 500 new coronavirus infections every hour
London, July 13, 2020 (AltAfrica)-South Africa now records over 12,000 new cases every, an equivalent of 500 new infections every hour,”says South African president Cyril Ramaphosa
Since the start of the outbreak in March, at least 4,079 people have died from Covid-19.
The storm is upon us, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as he addressed the nation on the country’s risk-adjusted response to the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday.
“More than a quarter of a million South Africans have been infected with coronavirus, and we know that many more infections have gone undetected. As of this evening, there are 276,242 confirmed cases in the country.
“We are now recording over 12,000 new cases every day. That is the equivalent of 500 new infections every hour,” Ramaphosa said
“What should concern us most is that a quarter of those who died passed away in the last week. We mourn the loss of each and every one of them, including some who have been in leadership positions in our country, such as Queen Noloyiso Sandile of the AmaRharhabe and North West MEC Gordon Kegakilwe. Our thoughts and prayers are with all their families at this time of extraordinary grief.
IOL reports that Ramaphosa’s address follows a meeting held by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Sunday afternoon.
The president has been under pressure to address the nation on the government’s measures to curb the continued spread of the coronavirus. The country is currently on level 3 of the risk-adjusted strategy.
Ramaphosa said the country would stay under level 3 lockdown but announced the tightening of certain restrictions.
Ramaphosa announced the immediate suspension of the sale of alcohol to alleviate the pressure placed on hospitals by alcohol-related incidents. He said this was necessary to conserve beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients. Wearing a mask in public is now mandatory and a curfew will be imposed from 9pm to 4am.
Ramaphosa revealed that his administration had considered returning most of the stricter lockdown restrictions which were imposed in recent months but decided against it due to their potential socioeconomic damage.
“The advice we have received is that taking this step now would not necessarily achieve a significant reduction in the rate of transmission and would come at an extraordinary economic cost, putting more livelihoods at risk and potentially causing long-lasting social harm,” Ramaphosa said.
As part of preparing for the rise in infections, the government has made around 28,000 hospital beds available, over 37,000 quarantine beds in private and public facilities across the country and secured 1,700 additional ventilators, Ramaphosa said.
He said another 12 000 ventilation devices were in the process of being produced and delivered between the end of July and the end of August.