The sustained increase of Covid-19 infections in the country over the past few weeks has prompted government to reintroduce tighter restrictions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation today (Sunday), on measures to be taken to lessen the impact of the impending nationwide third wave.
This address followed recent meetings by the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.
The number of Covid-19 infections has shown a sharp rise, with a sustained increase in the past four weeks. In addition, the number of positive Covid-19 tests has more than doubled, increasing from 4% to 11%.
President Ramaphosa stated that the current positivity rate in the country of over 5% is a cause for concern.
The surge in infections is said to be due to social gatherings and people not adhering to Covid-19 protocols, such as social distancing and wearing of masks. Funerals and after -tears parties, as well as camps and gatherings at schools, have also been highlighted as contributors to the rising cases.
The increase in daily cases is following the same trajectory as the previous two waves. The country has also seen an increase in hospital admissions in all provinces.
President Ramaphosa has announced the following regulations:
- The country will be placed on adjusted Level 2 from tomorrow.
- Curfew will be from 11pm until 4am.
- Non-essential establishments such as bars, restaurants and gyms must close at 10pm.
- Indoor gatherings limited to 100 people.
- Outdoor gatherings limited to 250 people.
- Should the venue be too small to accommodate the allowed number of people while maintaining s with adequate social distancing, the number of people may not exceed 50% of the venue’s capacity.
- It is mandatory to wear a mask in public. Masks must cover your nose and your mouth.
- If a person tests positive for Covid-19, they must self isolate for 10 days from the onset of the symptoms.
- If a person has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, they must self isolate for 10 days, even if they do not have any symptoms.
- Funerals are restricted to no more than 100 people.
- After- tears gatherings and night vigils are not permitted.
The elderly and those with co-morbidities have been encouraged to exercise caution and limit contact with others.
President Ramaphosa said the second phase of the vaccination programme – launched two weeks ago – is targeting unvaccinated health care workers and people over 60 years of age.
Over 960 000 people in South Africa have received at least one vaccine dose, with over three million now registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System.
A significant number of the elderly have encountered difficulties in registering on the system because of a lack of access to the tools needed to register online, such as a computer, internet access or mobile phone, or difficulties following the instructions in English.
Government is working to Address these challenges.
There are four ways that the public can register to receive the Covid-19 vaccine:
- By using the online registration platform available on the SA Coronavirus website.
- By dialling *134*832# and registering via USSD.
- By sending the word “register” via WhatsApp to 0600 123 456.
- By calling the national toll-free call centre on 0800 029 999.
All of the vaccines that are approved for use in South Africa are safe and effective, assured the President.
They have been tested in large trials and subjected to a rigorous approval process by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and by a number of health authorities around the world.
There are more than 400 vaccination sites in operation across the country in both the public and private sectors.
“Every week that we delay the peak of the third wave allows us to vaccinate hundreds of thousands more people, and may well save their lives,” President Ramaphosa said.
He urged all people to to summon their strength, courage, and tenacity and to stand together and to hold back the third wave.
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