SA lockdown: 5 key points from Thursday’s family meeting

In a televised address to the nation, the president acknowledged that there was clear evidence of a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in parts of the country, especially in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening announced that Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) had been declared a coronavirus hotspot due to a spike in COVID-19 infections in the metro during the past 14 days.

In a televised address to the nation, the president announced that a total of 800,872 people had contracted the virus in South Africa since March, saying around 92% of these people had recovered.

He also said 21,803 people had died from COVID-19.

Ramaphosa acknowledged that there was clear evidence of a resurgence in infections in parts of the country, especially in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. He said the rise in transmission was due to gatherings in large numbers and people travelling between the provinces, among other factors.

“There are three areas of the country that account for most of these new infections. These are Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape,” Ramaphosa said.

READ: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on containing COVID-19

He said hospital admissions in these districts were on the increase, and in some instances, they were like those during the first wave of COVID-19 infections.

“In the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, there has been an increase in both reported COVID-19 deaths and excess deaths. This must be a concern for every one of us,” the president said.

APPEAL FOR CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR

At the same time, Ramaphosa warned that if the rise in infections was not contained in the provinces, it could lead to great suffering and death.

“We must change our behaviour now to prevent a resurgence of the virus and manage outbreaks wherever they occur,” he said. “If we think of this pandemic like a bush fire, we need to quickly extinguish the flare-ups before they turn into an inferno.”

Starting from Friday, NMB residents can expect additional restrictions on movement, alcohol consumption, and gatherings.

The president said government would also create more capacity at hospitals and clinics in the areas. It would also expand testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine measures.

Lockdown restrictions to apply in Nelson Mandela Bay metro from 4 December:

1. Curfew from 10pm and 4am. Except for emergencies, no person may be outside their place of residence between those times. The curfew does not apply to essential workers who are permitted to work during those hours.

2. Alcohol sales from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.

3. Alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden in order to prevent large social gatherings.

4. Gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events.

“At all times, the total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue,” Ramaphosa said.

5. All post-funeral gatherings or “after tears parties” are prohibited.

WATCH: These are the additional restrictions for COVID-19 hotspot Nelson Mandela Bay

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