On Sunday, 12 July, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa laid out the government’s plans to help ease the burden on healthcare facilities as the country enters the “coronavirus storm”…
The virus is “stretching our resources and our resolve to their limits,” said the President. The provinces are expected to reach their peak infections between the end of July and late September.
According to the latest statistics:
- Over 500 new infections are being recorded every hour
- As of Sunday, there were 276,242 confirmed active cases, with at least 12,000 new cases being recorded daily
- More than 134,000 South Africans have recovered from the coronavirus
Relatively low death rate
“Yet, while infections rise exponentially, it is important to note that our case fatality rate of 1.5% is among the lowest in the world,” said Ramaphosa. “This is compared to a global average case fatality rate of 4.4%.”
The total number of Covid-19 deaths on Sunday night were reported at 4,079.
UPDATE: A total of 45 821 #COVID19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. Regrettably, we report 108 more #COVID19 related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 4079. The number of recoveries is 138 874 (48,8% recovery rate) Thank you to all the healthcare workers pic.twitter.com/dGbxQQnqi8
— NICD (@nicd_sa) July 12, 2020
What you need to know about the latest restrictions:
The government is focussing its efforts on increasing the availability of general wards and critical beds and resources for Covid-19 patients.
- SA will remain on Level 3
- The sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol is suspended with immediate effect
- A curfew will be put in place between the hours of 9pm and 4am from Monday, 13 July. (Apart from people who need to travel to and from work or who need to seek urgent medical or other assistance during this time, everyone will be required to remain at home.
- The wearing of masks in public is mandatory
- Family visits and other social activities are still not allowed
- Accommodation for leisure is NOT open for travel within provinces (despite an earlier announcement that it was allowed)
- 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 is wearing a mask
- All workplaces and all institutions need to ensure that there is a designated coronavirus official responsible for making sure that all regulations and all precautions are strictly adhered to
- Taxis undertaking local trips will now be permitted to increase their capacity to 100%, while long distance taxis will not be allowed to exceed 70% occupancy, on condition that new risk mitigation protocols related to masks, vehicle sanitising and open windows are followed
- Cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster to the 15th of August 2020
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) July 12, 2020
New regulations gazetted immediately
Shortly after the President’s speech ended on Sunday night, the amended regulations were released by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. They were signed by COGTA Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Some restrictions relaxed
Restrictions around some activities which pose a lower risk of infection and are important for economic or educational purposes have been relaxed.
- All auctions will be permitted subject to protocols similar to those that currently apply to agricultural auctions
- Parks will be open for exercise, but not for any form of gathering
Strong new evidence suggests that the coronavirus can also spread through the air. This makes preventative measures like masks and social distancing especially critical to reduce airborne transmission. pic.twitter.com/EphkTiHsPv
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 12, 2020
Call to stop careless, reckless behaviour
The President condemned those who were blatantly ignoring regulations and putting fellow citizens at risk.
“In the midst of our national effort to fight against this virus there are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around in crowded spaces without masks.
“In some cases some people go to funerals where more than 1,000 people are in attendance. This is how the virus is spread – through carelessness and through recklessness.”
“Now, more than ever, we are responsible for the lives of those around us,” urged Ramaphosa. “We will weather this storm. We will restore our country to health and to prosperity. We shall overcome.”
Social media was buzzing on Sunday night as many South Africans were upset that they hadn’t been given any warning about the alcohol ban:
… to be honest, if he had given us time to stock up, panic buying would have been another problem. 🤷🏾♀️ #cyrilramaphosa
— Miss Lelo (@MsLeloB) July 12, 2020
— I’m_Hope (@HopePerfect_) July 12, 2020
— Cellular ❁ (@robzinterris) July 12, 2020
— Siphesihle❤ (@CeeceeStuff) July 12, 2020
When cyril said #cyrilramaphosa “alcohol sales will be suspended with immediate effect”
Alcohol enthusiasts: pic.twitter.com/Tm9wULF2T2
— kabza de girl. (@girl_kaybee) July 12, 2020
— Cellular ❁ (@robzinterris) July 12, 2020
While others supported the suspension saying it would help decrease the incidents of Gender Based Violence (GBV) as well as ease the burden on healthcare facilities:
“Alcohol sales have been suspended with immediate effect” #cyrilramaphosa
All Healthcare workers 👇: pic.twitter.com/uvBybNKnoe
— Nozipho Magagula (@Dr_NOZI) July 12, 2020
— ♡ Izwelandile ♡ (@LandilehZulu) July 12, 2020
— Siya Bele (@Siya_Bele) July 12, 2020
At the end of the day we all know this is beyond our president and his cabinet. The best we can do is to meet them halfway because after all they’re also humans and they’re trying by all means, obey all the laws, terms and regulations and we shall live❤️ #cyrilramaphosa pic.twitter.com/c0ycQJ331u
— Fisokuhle Zwane (@PhysohMadness) July 12, 2020