New lockdown restrictions including ban on gatherings and curfew-Cyril Ramaphosa

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South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that all gatherings and alcohol will be banned, schools closed and a curfew put in place in a bid to contain the spread of the Delta variant.

The adjusted alert level 4 restrictions, which will include a 9pm to 4am curfew, will be in place for 14 days, reports Sdb Live News.

Addressing the nation this evening 27th June, 2021, the president said that the rapid spread of Delta is extremely serious and that the current containment measures are insufficient to deal with the speed and scale of coronavirus infections.

Ramaphosa said schools will start closing from Wednesday. He also said that South Africa has received 1.4m doses of the Pfizer vaccine through Covax.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly appealed for vaccines for Africa, saying a “fast-surging” Covid third wave is outpacing efforts to protect populations, “leaving more and more dangerously exposed”.

“The third wave is picking up speed, spreading faster, hitting harder. This is incredibly worrying. With rapidly rising case numbers and increasing reports of serious illness, the latest surge threatens to be Africa’s worst yet,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said last week.

African countries have recorded 5.4m cases and almost 145,000 deaths, though unreliable data means the true numbers are thought to be much higher.

In South Africa’s Gauteng province, the most populous part of the country, Covid patients are waiting for hours, even days, on stretchers in A&E wards before being found a bed, officials said.

Unlike past waves, this time the hospital system is not coping, said Dr Angelique Coetzee, the chair of the South African Medical Association.

Calling on citizens to comply with social distancing measures, Ramaphosa underlined the increased transmission of the Delta variant and admitted that health systems were “buckling under the strain”.

Written by: Sdb Live News

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