South Africa reimposes curfew as coronavirus cases hit 276,242
London, July 13, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public
Family visits will remain banned and public parks will be opened, but only for exercise but not for public gatherings. The national state of disaster has also been extended to August 15
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will also with immediate effect, return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds open to treat COVID-19 patients.
Ramaphosa said the pressure on the country’s healthcare system was too high and these extreme measures were needed to ensure that the country’s hospitals deal only with coronavirus cases and not alcohol-related trauma incidents.
The president said taxis travelling long distance would be allowed to carry passengers at 70% capacity, but for short-distance travel, the taxi industry would be allowed to operate at 100% capacity.
He said it was now the law for people to wear masks while outside their homes. He said employers should ensure that they monitor the compliance on the wearing of masks.
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.
“Since the start of the outbreak in March, at least 4,079 people have died from Covid-19.
“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.
“We extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery to three of our premiers who have been tested positive for coronavirus – Premier Alan Winde, Premier David Makhura and Premier Job Mokgoro.”
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.
He said modelling had estimated that over 40,000 South Africans could die from the virus between now and November. He said it was still possible to prove these models wrong with better caution. IOL