President Cyril Ramaphosa said that as he re-imposes restrictions, South Africa faces a “mass recovery” from coronavirus infections.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has re-implemented the two-week restriction in response to the surge in variants of the highly infectious delta coronavirus.
In a televised speech to the nation on Sunday, the President said that the worst-hit countries on the African continent are “faced with a large-scale recurrence of infection.”
“Our sanitation facilities have reached the limit…the demand for intensive care unit beds is in short supply,” he said, placing the country on a four-level alert, only one level lower than a complete lockdown.
He banned all gatherings, except for the maximum number of people at the funeral of 50, and ordered the prohibition of the sale of alcohol. Restaurants and restaurants can no longer offer sit-down meals, and can only sell take-out or take-out food. The night curfew was extended by an hour.
Authorities said that due to the country’s efforts to quickly roll out vaccination, the peak of the third wave — driven by the delta variant first discovered in India — will surpass the previous wave.
The president said: “We are in the midst of a devastating wave, and from all indications, this seems to be worse than the previous wave.”
“The peak of the third wave looks to be higher than the first two waves,” he added.
Robin Smith of Al Jazeera reported in Cape Town that, according to the government, the Delta variant is currently the main variant in South Africa.
“The President said that the current government restrictions are clearly not working and people are not complying with these restrictions,” Smith said, adding that the re-blockade is aimed at reducing the burden on the country’s healthcare system.
After recording 15,036 cases on Sunday, South Africa reported 1,928,897 cases, a decrease from the 18,762 new infections diagnosed the day before. The country has recorded 59,900 deaths from the coronavirus.