Faced with a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, South Africa has once again tightened restrictions on public meetings and liquor sales, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday night.
New infections threaten the virus health systems in various parts of the country, Ramaphosa said in a nationally televised speech.
According to Ramaphosa, hospital admissions for COVID-19 have increased 59% in the past two weeks. The continued average of 7 days of new cases in South Africa has almost doubled in the last two weeks, from 6.69 new cases per 100,000 people on 31 May to 12.71 new cases per 100,000 people on June 14, according to Johns Hopkins University
“Our priority now is to make sure there are enough hospital beds, enough health workers, enough fans and enough oxygen to give the best possible care to all the people who need it,” Ramaphosa said.
“The massive increase in new infections means we have to tighten restrictions on movement of people and meetings again,” he said.
The night curfew has been extended one hour from 10pm to 4am, while religious gatherings inside are limited to 50 people. The number of people allowed to meet social events has been limited to 50 people for indoor events and 100 people for outdoor events.
Alcohol retail will only be allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
South Africa has been the country hardest hit by the pandemic across the continent, with a cumulative total of more than 1.7 million infections, including 57,000 deaths, accounting for nearly 40% of all confirmed cases of Africa.
The new restrictions come as South Africa is also struggling to maintain a vaccination boost that has faced delays in global vaccine shortages and this week the news that it must rule out two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due of factory pollution in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson had promised to deliver 2 million of its single-shot doses by the end of June, but is now considered endangered due to a recent ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that a large number of J&J vaccines were contaminated. for a problem in a factory that produces a component of the vaccine. Around 480,000 health workers in South Africa have been vaccinated with doses of J&J.
Doses of the Pfizer vaccine are used to inoculate people 60 years of age or older. Approximately 1.4 million people have received their first dose of Pfizer vaccine. According to Ramaphosa, South Africa expects to receive 3.1 million doses of Pfizer by the end of June.
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Citation: Fighting COVID-19, South Africa increases restrictions (2021, June 15) Retrieved June 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-covid-surge-south-africa- restrictions.html
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