President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa will face a “massive resurgence” of coronavirus infections while placing restrictions.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted restrictions for two weeks to fight a source of the highly contagious variant of Delta coronavirus.
The worst-hit country on the African continent “faces a massive resurgence of infection,” the president said in a televised speech to the nation on Sunday.
“Our health facilities are stretched to the limit … ICU beds are in short supply,” he said when he put the country at alert level four, just one level below a complete blockade.
He banned all meetings except for funerals where numbers will be limited to 50, and also ordered a ban on the sale of alcohol. Restaurants and restaurants can no longer serve meals by themselves, and will only be allowed to sell food to pick up or deliver. A night curfew was extended by an hour.
Authorities say the peak of the third wave – fueled by the Delta variant first identified in India – will surpass that of the first waves as the country struggles to spread vaccinations rapidly.
“We are in the grip of a devastating wave that by all indications seems to be worse than those who preceded it,” the president said.
“The peak of this third wave appears to be higher than the previous two,” he added.
Robyn Smith of Al Jazeera, who reports from Cape Town, said that, according to the government, the Delta variant is now the dominant variant in South Africa.
“The president has said that the government’s current restrictions apparently don’t work and that people don’t adhere to them,” Smith said, adding that the renewal of the bloc is intended to remove the burden of the health care system. country.
South Africa reported 1,928,897 cases after registering 15,036 cases on Sunday, a drop from the previous day when 18,762 new infections were diagnosed. The country has recorded 59,900 deaths from coronavirus.