- President Cyril Ramaphosa has once again addressed South Africans on the Covid-19 crisis
- This comes as the nation records a high number of cases amid the second wave
- Ramaphosa announced that SA will be shifted back to Level 3 lockdown restrictions with immediate effect
President Cyril Ramaphosa has once again addressed his 'fellow South Africans' amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramaphosa said that the nation is now 'paying the price' for behaviour over the festive season that has seen over 50 000 new infections over the past few days alone.
Social gatherings, the consumption of alcohol and failure to follow non-pharmaceutical protocols were highlighted as the major drivers of the wave.
Hospitals are baulking under the pressure of both the pandemic and trauma patients, including motor vehicle accident victims. Ramaphosa noted this strain as unnecessary, confirming that many hospitals are either operating at full capacity or filling up.
The president commented that, in total, over 41 000 front-line workers had contracted the virus and are - simply put - exhausted. Ramaphosa shifted South Africa to Level 3 with immediate effect as of Monday night at midnight.
All indoor and outdoor gatherings will now be banned for a period of 14 days from midnight with the exception of funerals and other limited exclusions, such as to museums and restaurants.
The nationwide curfew will now be extended from 9pm to 6am with the exception of those performing essential services. Restaurants and shops will be legally compelled to close at 8pm as a result of this adjustment.
In addition to these measures, the president announced that every individual is responsible for ensuring that masks are worn in public places. A person who fails to wear a mask in a public place will be committing an offence and will be arrested and prosecuted, facing either a fine or imprisonment or even both.
Turning his attention to the alcohol issue, Ramaphosa has announced that liquor sales will be banned with immediate effect.
Ramaphosa also announced that a number of new hotspots have been declared:
- West Coast District
- Overberg District
- Winelands District
- Cape Town
- Central Karoo District
- Bojanala District
- Waterberg District
- Capricorn District
- Umgungundlovu District
- Ugu District
- Harry Gwala District
- King Cetshwayo District
- Ilembe District.
- West Rand District
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported SAAPA has now made a number of recommendations to the government in a dual effort to both curb Covid-19 infections in addition to preventing a complete industry shutdown.
The two main recommendations were the following:
- Maintain limitations on off-site consumption and suspend all on-premises sales and consumption (bars, taverns etc) in addition to completely banning alcohol advertising and promotions
- Maintaining curfew and the ban on events that draw large crowds
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