JOHANNESBURG: President Cyril Ramaphosa is to address the nation on Monday night regarding the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president’s address follows meetings with provinces and a cabinet meeting. It is expected the president will announce restrictions to try and curb a rise in Covid-19 cases.
On Sunday, the country recorded 7 999 new coronavirus cases. Cases have been on the rise in the past two weeks and a second wave was declared last week, raising concerns as the country heads into the festive season, with its associated in movement and activity.
Last week, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the country was in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic. He highlighted Gauteng, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as the key provinces driving the surge.
Ramaphosa addressed the country just over a week ago and warned of the dangers that lay ahead if citizens did not adhere to protocols by respecting social distancing, wearing masks and not attending large gatherings.
When he gave his address, cases were just over 3 000 and the biggest concern was the Eastern Cape metro of Nelson Mandela Bay.
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The National Coronavirus Command Council had taken the decision to designate the area a hotspot and stricter measures have been applied.
Some of the restrictions include a curfew from 10pm to 4am. Only permitted workers are allowed outside their homes during the curfew.
Non-essential establishments, including bars and restaurants, should be closed during the curfew.
Ramaphosa also announced restrictions on alcohol trading hours in the region with alcohol only being sold Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm.
No on-site consumption is permitted at licensed establishments after 10pm. No alcohol consumption is allowed in public spaces, the President said.
Gatherings have also been limited. Religious gatherings may not exceed 50% of venue capacity – with a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outside.
The president also said summer initiation practices could go ahead, but not in Nelson Mandela Bay.