COVID-19 restrictions imposed on South Africa to limit the devastating effects of the Delta variant will remain in place until the end of the month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday.
Infections in the continent’s hardest-hit country “remain extremely high,” the president said in a televised speech to the nation.
Bars and schools remain closed, while the curfew from 21:00 to 04:00 remains in place. Political and religious meetings remain banned.
Restaurants and gyms, however, can now reopen under strict protocols.
The country has seen an average of about 20,000 cases a day in the past two weeks and more than 4,200 deaths, Ramaphosa said.
These measures, which were first taken on June 27, “were urgent and … absolutely necessary to contain the third wave, which is feeding on the new Delta variant,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa counted 16,302 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total to 2,195,599.
The COVID-19 death the toll is 64,289, after another 151 deaths were recorded on Sunday.
Gauteng, el economic center and the most populous province, including Johannesburg, continues to account for more than half of new cases, but other provinces see an increase in the number.
“Next week, daily revenues across the country are likely to reach the levels observed during the peak of the first two waves,” Ramaphosa added.
Vaccination in the country has been slow, with nearly 4.2 million people receiving at least their first hand of the 59 million people.
© 2021 AFP
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