By Kaya 959 News
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced the country’s move to an adjusted alert level 2.
The alert comes into effect from Monday.
Ramaphosa said the move follows extensive discussions between the National Coronavirus Command Council, Cabinet and provincial leadership.
“It bases this recommendation on the sustained increase in new cases in the last 14 days, increased hospital admissions in almost all provinces and an increase in the proportion of Covid tests that are positive,” Ramaphosa said.
He said further restrictions are necessary to ensure that health facilities are not overwhelmed and that lives that could be saved are not lost.
“Delaying the spread of the virus is especially important now to allow as many people as possible to be vaccinated before the third wave reaches its peak,” Ramaphosa said.
Increase in new infections
He said already over the last seven days, there has been an average of over 3500 new infections.
Ramaphosa said this is an increase of 31% on the previous week, and an increase of 66 per cent on the week before that.
“The proportion of Covid-19 tests that are positive has more than doubled in the last month from around 4 per cent to more than 11 percent, even as we have increased testing across the country,” he said.
“We are advised that a positivity rate of over 5% is a cause for concern,” he said.
Gauteng records high numbers
The provinces of Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng have reached the threshold of a third wave of infections.
It may only be a matter of time before the country as a whole will have entered a third wave.
“According to our health experts, the recent surge in new infections is due to the increasing number of social gatherings where people are not observing essential health protocols,” he said.
As part of the adjusted alert level restrictions:
– The hours of curfew will start at 11pm and end at 4am.
– Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 10pm. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
– All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 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.
This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
Funeral remain restricted
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate at home for a period of 10 days from when you first developed symptoms.
If you have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, you must also self-quarantine for a period of 10 days following your exposure, even if you do not show any symptoms.
“Identifying and isolating all contacts of a positive case is our best mechanism to prevent the virus from spreading further, and so it is very important that we all obey the rules for isolation and quarantine,” Ramaphosa said.
Funerals remain restricted to no more than 100 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.