Ramaphosa: SA remains on level 3 lockdown, alcohol taps still closed

The address follows meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet in the past few days.

President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address on COVID-19 measures on 16 September 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that the country would stay on adjusted level three lockdown due to coronavirus.

The president briefed the nation on Monday after holding meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council and the Cabinet.

The country has seen 4,600 COVID related deaths since the start of this year alone.

He moved South Africa to this level last month, saying it would last until 15 January. This, along with the state of disaster, was extended.

“There are currently over 15,000 people with COVID-19 in hospitals nationally, placing a considerable strain on health facilities, personnel and equipment. Around a third of all COVID-19 patients in hospitals are on oxygen.”

He said the province with the highest average number of cases was KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

“New infections in KZN and the Western Cape have grown fast and have now far exceeded the peak during the first wave. Infections in Gauteng are growing exponentially and are expected to increase further as more residents of Gauteng return to the province following the festive break.”

The president once again reminded the nation that attending funerals in large numbers made them super spreader events.

"There will be a time when we can go to the home of the deceased to pay our respects, and to sympathise properly with our neighbours, friends and relatives. But for now, it is best and safer to stay at home."

ALCOHOL TAPS STILL CLOSED

The sale of alcohol would still be banned under level three lockdown.

"The sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol is still not be permitted," Ramaphosa said.

He said the impact alcohol ban had on trauma units at hospitals was evidence that it should not be lifted. For the first time in its history, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto had an empty trauma unit on new year's eve night.

"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 added.

The curfew will now start at 9 pm and end at 5 am.

WATCH LIVE: Ramaphosa gives update on COVID-19 regulations

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