President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that government had decided to implement alert level 2 of the lockdown effective from Monday as Covid-19 infections continue to rise in SA.
Ramaphosa said Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng have reached the threshold of a third wave of infections and warned “it may only be a matter of time” before the entire country enters the third wave of infections.
He said SA had a positivity rate of more than 5%. He said this is cause for concern, and urged South Africans to continue to adhere to the safety regulations.
Here are seven important quotes from his address:
“The hours of curfew will start at 11pm and end at 4am. Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 10pm. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.”
“All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
“This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places. Several important measures remain in place.”
Not wearing a mask is a criminal offence
“The owners and managers of public buildings, centres, shops, restaurants, taxis and buses all have a responsibility to ensure people on their premises or in their vehicles wear masks and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.”
Third wave is looming
“While the country is headed towards a third wave of infections, we do not yet know how severe this wave will be or how long it will last. According to the scientists who advise government, the severity of this third wave will largely be determined by the amount of contact each of us has with other people.”
Avoid travelling- but if you must, be safe
“The less we travel, the less the virus is spread. It is especially important to avoid indoor spaces as the coronavirus is spread through the air when a person speaks, coughs or sneezes. If you need to meet someone, including a member of your family, it is safer to do so outside or in a well-ventilated space.”
“Over the last two weeks, more than 480,000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the public vaccination campaign. Within the next few days we will have administered vaccine doses to more than one million of the most vulnerable South Africans.”
Vaccination registration challenges
“A significant number of the elderly have encountered difficulties in registering on the electronic vaccine data system. This is due to lack of access to the tools needed to register online, such as a computer, internet access or a mobile phone, or difficulties following the instructions in English.
We are working to get around these problems, and a huge drive to support the elderly to register is under way.”
By Cebelihle Bhengu – TimesLIVE