South Africa extends lockdown level 3
..SA shuts down 20 land borders
Capetown – President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the extension of South Africa’s adjusted level 3 lockdown, with some changes to the current restrictions.
In a media briefing on Monday evening (11 January), the president said that the pandemic in South Africa is now at its most ‘devastating’, with the number of new cases, deaths and hospital admissions now at the highest point since the coronavirus was first detected in the country in March 2020.
More than 1.2 million cases have been reported in the country to date, with over 33,000 deaths.
Since the start of the new year, 190,000 new cases have been reported, alongside 4,600 deaths. More than 15,000 South Africans are currently in hospital, with approximately a third of these patients on oxygen support.
Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are set to remain largely unchanged for the next month, but land borders will be closed as long queues and congestion there have heightened the risk of infection.
On the closure of land borders, Ramaphosa said the congestion at many of the land points of entry was mostly due to people arriving without a confirmation of their Covid-19 results.
“To reduce congestion and the high risk of transmission, cabinet has decided that the 20 land ports of entry that are now open will be closed until February 15 for general entry and departure,” Ramaphosa said
Allowed will be the transportation of goods, fuel and medical emergencies, among others, and the return of South African nationals or permanent residents and diplomats into the country, and the departure of foreign nationals.
“These measures we had implemented right at the beginning when we had earlier lockdown. The full list of exemptions is in the regulations,” he said.
Turning on to alcohol sales Ramaphosa said the ban will remain in effect.
“Health services in several parts of the country reported that the prohibition of alcohol sales had significantly reduced the number of trauma cases seen in our hospitals over the New Year period. It is vital that we continue to protect our health services,” he said.