JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reimposed a ban on alcohol gross sales and ordered the closure of all bars Monday as a part of new restrictions to assist the nation battle a resurgence of the coronavirus, together with a brand new variant.
In a nationwide tackle, Ramaphosa additionally introduced the closure of all seashores and public swimming swimming pools within the nation’s an infection hotspots, which embody Cape City, Johannesburg, Durban and several other coastal areas.
South Africa will prolong its nighttime curfew so all residents have to be at house from 9 p.m. till 6 a.m., the president stated.
The president stated that carrying masks is necessary and that anybody discovered not carrying a masks in a public place will likely be topic to a wonderful or a legal cost punishable by a attainable jail sentence.
Ramaphosa stated the elevated restrictions are mandatory due to a surge in COVID-19 infections which has pushed South Africa’s cumulative virus instances above 1 million.
Ramaphosa introduced the brand new measures after a Cupboard assembly and an emergency assembly of the Nationwide Coronavirus Command Council.
The nation surpassed the 1 million mark in confirmed virus instances on Sunday night time, when authorities reported that the nation’s whole instances through the pandemic had reached 1,004,413, together with 26,735 deaths.
Like Britain, South Africa is battling a variant of COVID-19 that medical specialists suppose is extra infectious than the unique. The variant has change into dominant in lots of components of the nation, in accordance with specialists.
The South African Medical Affiliation, which represents nurses and different well being staff in addition to docs, warned Monday that the well being system was on the verge of being overwhelmed by the mixture of upper numbers of COVID-19 sufferers and folks needing pressing care from alcohol-related incidents. Many vacation gatherings contain excessive ranges of alcohol consumption, which in flip typically result in elevated trauma instances.
“To alleviate the strain on the system throughout this time of the yr, the place we solely have skeleton employees working, particularly within the public sector, in addition to within the non-public sector, we’re asking for stricter restrictions relating to social gatherings,” Angelique Coetzee, chairwoman of the medical affiliation advised The Related Press.
“South Africa has acquired a historical past of very excessive alcohol abuse and binge ingesting, particularly over the weekends. In sure areas that results in quite a lot of trauma instances, assaults, motorized vehicle accidents and home violence,” she stated.
The medical affiliation has known as on the federal government to impose stricter restrictions on the sale of alcohol, particularly the place massive gatherings are involved.
When South Africa beforehand had a complete ban on liquor gross sales, trauma instances in hospitals dropped by as a lot as 60%, in accordance with authorities statistics. When the ban on alcohol gross sales was lifted, trauma instances went again as much as earlier ranges.
Amid a resurgence of COVID-19 in early December, South Africa restricted gross sales of alcohol to Monday by Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. to six p.m. The nation additionally has a nightly 11 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew.
Numerous alcohol merchants had pleaded with the federal government to keep away from a complete ban on alcohol gross sales, citing the financial injury it might trigger. South Africa’s alcohol trade was amongst these hardest hit when the nation imposed a tough lockdown throughout April and Might that additionally banned all liquor gross sales.
South Africa’s 7-day rolling common of confirmed each day instances has risen over the previous two weeks from 11.18 new instances per 100,000 folks on Dec. 13 to 19.87 new instances per 100,000 folks on Dec. 27.
The 7-day rolling common of each day deaths within the nation has risen over the previous two weeks from 0.26 deaths per 100,000 folks on Dec. 13 to 0.49 deaths per 100,000 folks on Dec. 27.
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