DURBAN – Cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen, as well as casinos, hairdressers, and non-contact sports will be allowed to resume, as long as they adhere to “specific and stringent safety requirements announced President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Addressing the country on the latest development in the continued lockdown due to Covid-19, Ramaphosa said: “As the country continues to open, the risk will naturally increase, but that infection is by no means inevitable, especially if people continue to adhere to social distancing measures and the wearing of masks in public.”
Economic activities that will resume include:
- Restaurants for ‘sit-down’ meals
- Accredited and licensed accommodation, with the exception of home-sharing
accommodation like Airbnb.
- Conferences and meetings for business purposes and in line with restrictions on public
- Personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services
The President mentioned that the government’s response will now focus on dealing with infection hotspots, through the deployment of multidisciplinary intervention teams, increased testing, and screening. There will however be a shift to more targeted testing, prioritising those in hospitals, healthcare workers, the elderly, and those in hotspots, as the shortage of test kits worldwide worsens.
“Government is using every avenue available to increase testing capacity and improve turnaround time. This includes the use of a single continental market place for African countries, which provides test kits and other critical medical supplies,” he said.
Ramaphosa expressed optimism following what he deemed a “breakthrough” because of the discovery of an existing drug, discovered by the Oxford University in London which could assist in the treatment of the disease.
“The said drug, dexamethasone, is also manufactured in SA. It has been recommended that this drug be used on patients on ventilators and those on oxygen supply,” he said.
Ramaphosa also took time to talk about “another pandemic” that is raging in the country; the killing of women and children by the men of our country.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I stand before the women and girls of South Africa. As a man, as a husband and as a father, I am appalled at what is no less than a war being waged against the women and children of our country. Over the past few weeks, no fewer than 21 women and children have been murdered. Their killers thought they could silence them. But we will not forget them and we will speak for them where they cannot,”
“In particular, we need to examine the effect of alcohol abuse not only on levels of violence but also on road accidents and reckless behaviour. Several international and domestic studies show clear linkages between alcohol abuse and gender-based violence. Of course, it is not alcohol that rapes or kills a woman or a child. But if alcohol intoxication is contributing to these crimes, then it must be addressed with urgency,” said the president.
Ramaphosa’s address follows a number of meetings of the cabinet, the national coronavirus command council and the presidential co-coordinating council.
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