Ramaphosa announces immediate move to lockdown level 2

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that the country will immediately move to lockdown alert level 2 due to a surge in positive Covid-19 cases.

The president’s address to the nation follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet

Ramaphosa said on Sunday that the provinces of Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng have reached the threshold of a third wave of infections.

“It is only a matter of time that the entire country reaches a third wave,” he said.

“Over the last seven days, we have seen an average of 3,745 daily new infections. This is an increase of 31 percent on the previous week, and an increase of 66 percent on the week before that.

“The proportion of Covid-19 tests that are positive has more than doubled in the last month from around 4 per cent to more than 11 per cent, even as we have increased testing across the country.

“We are advised that a positivity rate of over 5 percent is a cause for concern.”

Cabinet has decided that country should be on adjusted Level 2 with effect from Monday, the president said.

Ramaphosa said the recent surge was due to social gatherings, where people were not observing health protocols like wearing masks, social distancing and limiting the number of people attending gatherings.

He announced that a curfew will be imposed from 11pm to 4am.

Restaurants and bars will close at 10pm.

Gatherings will be limited to 100 indoors and 250 people outdoors.

Funerals are restricted to 100 people and night vigils and after tears are not allowed.

The president reiterated that it is mandatory for everyone to wear masks covering their nose and mouth at all times when in public. It is a criminal offence not to do so.

If you test positive for Covid self-isolate at home for 10 days, he said.

“We don’t know how severe the third wave will be or how long it will last.

“Scientists who advise the government say the severity of the third wave will be determined by the amount of contact each of us has with other people. This means each of us needs to think of all the people we come into contact with each day and do everything we can to limit the contacts,” Ramaphosa said.

Over the past month the number of coronavirus cases has been climbing with more than 4 576 new Covid-19 cases recorded in the country on Saturday, bringing the cumulative cases to 1 645 5551.

There are currently 48 523 active cases in the country, with 15 546 cases in Gauteng, 7 831 in the Free State, 7 604 in the Northern Cape and 6 297 in the North West.

The coronavirus has killed a total number of 56 363 people in South Africa.

According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s daily stats update, by Saturday a total of 963 876 people have been vaccinated in South Africa: 479 768 health workers in the Sisonke Programme and 484 108 elderly people under Phase 2.

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