Ramaphosa declares Nelson Mandela Bay Metro COVID-19 hotspot

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President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Nelson Mandela Bay Metro a COVID-19 hotspot, with stricter measures coming into effect at midnight on Thursday. These include a ban on public drinking, an extended curfew as well as restrictions on gatherings.

The curfew will be from 10 pm to 4 am and a ban on public drinking.

Addressing the nation following a meeting of Cabinet and based on recommendations by the National Coronavirus Command Council, Ramaphosa says these additional restrictions will be enforced alongside the existing Alert Level 1 regulations.

“The curfew will be from 10pm to 4am. This does not apply to essential workers. The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Alcohol consumption in public spaces such as beaches and parks is strcitly forbidden, gatherings including religious gatherings may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor and 250 for outdoor events. And finally, all post-funeral gatherings are prohibited.”

President Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Thursday:

President Ramaphosa has extended the national State of Disaster to 15 January.

Coronavirus Resurgence Plan

As the Western Cape and Eastern Cape experience surges in infections, the government has activated its Coronavirus Resurgence Plan which was developed with the World Health Organisation to prevent a devastating second wave of the coronavirus.

President Ramaphosa announces that the rest of the country will remain on Alert Level-One.

“The most urgent task before us now is to contain the rise in infections. To prevent this, we are putting into motion the resurgence plan. We are making more capacity available at hospitals and clinics. We are expanding public health interventions such as testing contact tracing isolation and quarantine. We are also stepping up our awareness campaigns around public health regulations.”

Initiation season

Ramaphosa has announced that the summer initiation season will go ahead, except in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape which has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot.

This follows consultations and proposals from traditional leaders on how they will prevent the spread of COVID-19. The plan was approved by the government.

“This plan includes strict adherence to health protocols including screening of initiates, the provision of PPE and the provision of water for hygiene and to prevent dehydration. However, due to the high rates of infection in the metro, no initiation schools will be allowed in Nelson Mandela Bay.”

Initiation schools had been closed as a result of the hard lockdown.

Some reactions to the President’s address: