President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and lessening the load on the healthcare system that is battling with the rise of infections, the sale of alcohol is suspended with immediate effect.

This was just one of the measures the government announced on Sunday evening in adjustment of the Lockdown Level 3.

A curfew from 21H00 at night until 04 o’clock in the morning will be in force from Monday.

People will also now be legally obliged to wear a mask when they leave their homes.

The President says everything possible needs to be done to contain the virus that has now infected more than a quarter of a million South Africans and has criticised those who are not complying with implemented measures.

He says many of the deaths have occurred after people attended gatherings, funerals and house parties, adding there are now 500 infections every hour in South Africa.

“And we know that many more infections have gone undetected. As of this evening, there are 276 242 that are confirmed cases in our country. We are now recording well over 12 000 new cases every day. That is the equivalent of 500 new infections every hour of the day.”

Wearing of face mask

The President has also raised concern over the failure by many South Africans to wear face mask, despite evidence showing that it can protect against coronavirus.

“It is, therefore, important that we should enforce the wearing of masks. Regulations on the wearing of masks will be strengthened. Employers, shop owners and managers, public transport operators and managers and owners of any other public building are now legally obliged to ensure that anyone entering their premises or vehicle must be wearing a mask.”

In the video below, Ramaphosa addresses the nation:

Ramaphosa has also warned that emerging science seems to indicate that the coronavirus may be airborne. This follows admissions from the World Health Organisation (WHO) following a number of studies in this area.

Ramaphosa says this makes the virus even more dangerous.

“There is now emerging evidence that the virus may also be carried in tiny particles in the air in places that are crowded, that are closed or places that have poor air ventilation or circulation. For this reason, we must immediately improve the indoor environment of public spaces where the risk of infection is great. We must increase natural ventilation avoid a recirculation of air and minimize the number of people sharing the same space.”

Political parties and analysts react to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech: