South Africa to return to strict COVID restrictions as cases surge

As South Africa witnesses a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the country has reportedly announced that it is returning to strictly limiting public meetings and liquor sales.

As per the new guidelines, the nighttime curfew has been extended by one hour, from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am. Meanwhile, religious meetings and other social gatherings have limited to 50 people for indoor events and 100 for outdoor events.

Additionally, retail sale of liquor will be allowed only from Monday to Thursday, between 10 am and 6 pm, as per local time.

On the African continent, South Africa has been the most adversely affected country by the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 1.7 million infections and 58,000 fatalities, the country has accounted for roughly 40% of the continent's total confirmed cases.

As per Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the country has nearly doubled in the last two weeks, rising from 6.69 per 100,000 individuals on May 31st to 12.71 on June 14th.

On Tuesday, Cyril Ramaphosa, The President of South Africa stated that the new infections are posing a danger to health systems in various regions of the nation, adding that COVID-related hospital admissions have risen by 59% in the last two weeks.

Now, the government’s focus would be on ensuring that there are adequate ventilators, hospital beds, healthcare staff, and oxygen to give the best possible treatment of anyone who needs.

Moreover, addressing the country’s fallback to stricter restrictions President Ramaphosa further stated that the massive rise in infections dictate that the movement of individuals and groups must be restricted again.

The new limitations come as the country also struggles to maintain a vaccination campaign that has been hampered by global vaccine shortages. Along with that, the news of this week is also a matter of concern that says, South Africa must reject two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination due to factory contamination in the United States.

Source credits: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/16/south-africa-increases-coronavirus-restrictions-as-cases-surge