- President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will be moving to Alert Level 4 in the face of rising infections
- The Delta variant of the virus is proving to be virulently contagious and both private and government hospitals are buckling under the pressure
- As a result, a range of new restrictions will be introduced to reduce the person-to-person contact in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus
President Cyril Ramaphosa warned the country that we face another grave challenge with hospital admissions rising and Covid-19 infections getting worse with the peak of this wave being higher than the previous two. As a result, new restrictions will be put into place as South Africa moves to Alert Level 4.
A massive resurgence of infections is being experienced in South Africa as the third wave of infections sweeps across the country with more than 11 400 people currently hospitalised with Covid-19. Private and government facilities are buckling under the pressure with ICU beds in short supply.
Existing containment measures not enough to deal with the 3d wave
The only way to combat the virus is to reduce the person-to-person contact, which was the best way to flatten the rate of infection during the first and second waves.
Cabinet has decided that the country is to move to Alert Level 4 with additional restrictions in place for the next 14 days, after which the restrictions will be reviewed. After this period, the restrictions will be adjusted or lifted.
New restrictions to come into force
- All gatherings, indoors and outdoors, are prohibited, including political, cultural and religious events
- Funerals and cremations may not have more than 50 individuals present
- Night vigils and post-funeral gatherings will not be allowed
- No gatherings will be prohibited at parks and beaches so these will remain open
- The curfew will be adjusted to 9pm to 4am
- No alcohol will be allowed on sale in order to reduce the pressure on the healthcare service of alcohol-related injuries
- Restaurants will only be able to provide food for delivery or take-away
- Schools will be closed from Wednesday as the winter holidays are brought forward
- Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end on Wednesday but residences will remain open
- Wearing of face masks is mandatory and it will be a criminal act not to wear one
- People should work from home where possible
New variants a threat to the country
Ramaphosa warned that scientists say that new variants pose a risk to the country with the latest Delta strain having wreaked havoc in India. The Delta variant is displacing the Beta variant and more contagious.
This means the virus spreads faster between people and is expected to be more than twice as infectious.
It is also possible to spread the variant without even knowing they are infected with the virus and vaccines do not offer full protection against the new variant. There is still a lot to learn about the variant and how severe the complications can be.
Delta variant overtaking other strains of the virus in South Africa
The new Delta variant of Covid-19 is beginning to overtake other strains of the virus in South Africa. The variant was first discovered in India and has since swept across the globe proving to be more contagious than previous versions.
South Africa is the worst affected country on the African continent with approximately a third of all infections and more than 40% of deaths according to Reuters.
The second wave of the virus was mostly driven by the Beta variant while the third wave is being accelerated by the Delta variant.
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Source: Briefly News