Two weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation, confirming that the country would be moving to adjusted level 4 lockdown for 14 days in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa during a third wave. While the measures taken were needed given the heightened risk presented by the delta variant of the virus, it has failed to lessen the transmission of COVID-19.
Now that the 14-day period has elapsed, the president and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCC) have decided to maintain the current level 4 lockdown for the next 14 days until 25th July.
— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) July 11, 2021
This as the daily number of infections and deaths continues to worsen, surpassing levels seen during the first and second wave of infections.
Many of the same restrictions that were in place during the past 14 days will continue to be in place. These include the curfew lasting from 21:00 in the evening until 4:00 in the morning, along with masks being mandatory while outdoors, as well as the sale of alcohol remaining banned.
There are, however, some changes, such as restaurants being able to operate provided they adhere to lockdown regulations. Up until now, sit down dining at restaurants was not allowed with only take-aways being permitted, but that will change as of tomorrow.
Schools will also remain closed over the next 14 days and are currently slated to re-open come 26th July.
Whether these measures will have the desired effect remains to be seen, but up until now, they have failed to flatted the curve as infections and deaths have surged. Also unclear is what will happen should the numbers being recorded during this third wave get worse.
For now, all we know is that this third wave has been the most devastating for the country to date. In the coming days, various Ministers will be unpacking further regulations, amendments and protocols for the extended level 4 lockdown.
[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Twitter]