Image: Presidency Twitter

Ramaphosa announces ban on alcohol, stricter lockdown rules

CAPE TOWN- President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening that as the country approaches its peak in the number of Covid-19 infections, some lockdown restrictions will be reintroduced including the immediate ban of alcohol sales and a new curfew set to take effect from Monday. 

The president’s address follows a meeting with members of the Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the President’s Coordinating Council.

The country will remain in alert level 3 of the national lockdown at this stage, however, Ramaphosa said extra precautions need to be adhered to and there will be a tighten on existing measures.

“There are some among us who continue to ignore the regulations that have been passed to combat the disease. In the midst of our national effort to fight the virus there are those who have taken to organising parties, drinking sprees and some who walk around in crowded spaces without the protection of masks. This is how the virus is spread, through carelessness and recklessness,” he said.

Some of the restrictions reintroduced include:

  • The sale and distribution of alcohol has been suspended with immediate effect.
  • Taxis operating long distance travel are allowed 70% capacity, while local taxis may operate with 100% capacity but must ensure regulations are followed.
  • A curfew from 9pm-4am is set to take effect from Monday.
  • Family visits are prohibited.

In light of the increased rate of infections, Ramaphosa said the NCCC and Cabinet had considered whether the country should return all or parts of the country to alert level 4 or level 5.

“The advise we have received is that taking this step now would not achieve a significant reduction in the rate of transmission and would also come at a great cost to the economy,” he said.

South Africa now has 276 242 confirmed Covid-19 cases, an increase of 12 058, while 108 more deaths have been recorded bringing the total to 4079.

“Our case fatality rate of 1.5% is among the lowest in the world. We owe the relatively low number of deaths in our country to the experience and dedication of our health professionals,” said the president.

Scientists and other scenario planners projected that South Africa may have between 40-50 thousand deaths before the end of this year. “We must make it our single most important task to prove these projections wrong,” he said.

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CORONAVIRUS MONITOR