South Africa moves to lockdown alert level 3

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President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday night that the country will move back to alert level 3 of the national lockdown. The President briefed the nation on Tuesday night after a meeting with various stakeholders, including the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Level three means that the curfew has been extended from 10 in the evening until four in the morning. Non-essential establishments like restaurants must close at nine in the evenings. Gatherings are now limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Alcohol sales for offsite consumption are now only allowed between 10 in the morning and six in the evening from Monday to Thursday. Ramaphosa says the measures are necessary as the country enters the third wave of infections.

“In light of the rising infections, Cabinet has decided to move the country to alert level three. This means that the hours of curfew will start at 10PM and end at 4AM. Non-essential businesses like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 9PM. All gatherings will be limited to max 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.”

Ramaphosa says every single person in the country  must stick to the basic restrictions that are critical to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Infographic: SA moves to Level 3:



Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Ramaphosa says Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) would send 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country by the end of the month, after that amount had to be destroyed by J&J’s local producer due to a contamination in a US-based ingredient supplier.

Link to the broadcast in the video below:

Pressure on hospitals

Ramaphosa has raised concern over several provinces reporting a consistent rise in COVID-19 infections – with Gauteng being the worst hit. He says Gauteng accounts for two thirds of new coronavirus infections. Ramaphosa says hospitals in Gauteng are nearing capacity.

“The increase in infections in Gauteng is now faster and steeper than it was at the same time in previous waves. Within a matter of days, it is likely that the number of new cases in Gauteng will surpass the peak of the 2nd wave. Private hospitals in the province have reported that they are near capacity. We have to act decisively and quickly to save lives.”

Medical Research Council’s Dr Fareed Abdullah, says both the public and private healthcare sectors have patient capacity concerns.

“It’s clear that all public and private hospitals in the province are rapidly filling up. Our case rate in Gauteng in the 3rd wave is significantly higher than the 1st and 2nd wave. What we are concerned about in the province is the numbers needing admission is going up and we will reach a position where we run out of beds and the wards/emergency units are full and then doctors will have to start choosing patients that get admitted and those for whom they can’t find a bed.”

President Ramaphosa concerned about the surge in infections: