Oct 2021 1st edition

COVID-19 cases declining but don't wait to vaccinate

President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved South Africa to Adjusted Alert Level 2 and encouraged citizens to get vaccinated. 

Restrictions on movements of people and gatherings have been eased in South Africa following a steady decline in new COVID-19 infections.

This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during an address to the nation recently. The President announced the move from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2 of the lockdown.

The President said the decrease in the number of new infections across the country spurred the decision to move the country to a lower level of restrictions.

“While the third wave is not yet over, we have seen a sustained decline in infections across the country over the last few weeks.”

President Ramaphosa said that after thorough consultations, Cabinet decided on the following measures for Adjusted Alert Level 2:

  • The hours of curfew now start at 11pm and end at 4am.
  • Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres must close by 10pm to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
  • All gatherings have been limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
  • Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
  • The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption is now permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.
  • Alcohol sales for on-site consumption is permitted as per licence conditions up to 10pm.

The President said the measures will be reviewed and warned that infections in the Free State and Northern Cape remain a concern.

Government will be focusing its efforts on these provinces to understand what was driving infections and measures that need to be taken to bring down the number of infections.

Vaccinating the nation

On the vaccine front, President Ramaphosa announced that the country has secured enough COVID-19 vaccines for the entire adult population of South Africa.

He said that although securing the vaccine doses is an important step; citizens still need to come forward to get the jab.

 “We are increasing the pace of vaccination and ensuring that we reach those that are most vulnerable to serious illness. While everyone aged 18 years and older is eligible to be vaccinated, we are concentrating our efforts and resources on those over 60 years of age and those with co-morbidities.”

The President added that vaccines remain the strongest source of protection against severe illness and encouraged all unvaccinated people in South Africa to get the jab at one of the thousands of vaccination sites in the country.

“There is now overwhelming evidence from hundreds of countries that vaccines are safe and provide strong protection. We have taken steps to make it easier for people to access vaccination wherever they are.

“We now have more than 3 000 public and private vaccination sites across the country, and most private sites will vaccinate any member of the public for free whether you have health insurance or not.”

Local government elections

With the country set to elect new leadership for more than 250 municipalities on 1 November 2021, President Ramaphosa said discussions with political parties were held to stress the importance of COVID-19 health protocols and adherence to the National State of Disaster regulations.

“It is vital that as we undertake this great democratic exercise, we do everything within our means to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

“At the same time, we need to ensure that the pandemic does not limit the ability of all South Africans to freely exercise their democratic right to elect their local councillors.” SAnews.gov.za

For the latest COVID-19 vaccination sites visit: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites/

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