BLOG: Sale, purchase of alcohol suspended with immediate effect - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa is this evening set to address the nation on government's response to COVID-19

You can watch the address by clicking on the link below.

President Ramaphosa has announced the sale, purchase and distribution of alcohol has been suspended with immediate effect.

This is to ensure that alcohol-related trauma does not strain the stretched hospital resources.

Ramaphosa: A curfew will be put in place for between 9 pm and 4 am. Curfew to take effect on Monday, 13 July 2020.

Ramaphosa: Sale of alcohol has resulted in a strain in hospital resources

Ramaphosa: Long distance taxi trips will have to adhere to 70% load capacity while short trips will increase to 100%. 

Ramaphosa says this will only happen if the taxi industry to adhere to safety regulations. 

Ramaphosa says building owners are now legally obliged to require people to wear face masks.

Ramaphosa: In order to reduce the rate of transmission, it is therefore important that we enforce the wearing of masks. 

Ramaphosa says Cabinet has decided country will remain at alert level 3.

Ramaphosa: The advice we received is that taking this decision will not result in major decline in infections.

Ramaphosa: In the light of the increase rate of infections, the NCC has considered whether we should return all or most parts of the country to alert level 4 or 5.

Ramaphosa: in several provinces, some people can receive their COVID-19 test results via WhatsApp and details required. 

Ramaphosa says this can help make the work of healthcare workers much more easier.

Ramaphosa: We know that there are some people who are reluctant in isolating, but it is important to do so if we want to break the chain of infection. 

Ramaphosa says gender-based violence programmes will also be introduced at district level.

Ramaphosa: We are working to reduce the turn around for testing to 48 hours.

Ramaphosa says government they are employing more doctors, nurses and volunteers to help fight the virus.

Ramaphosa: We are working to increase the supply for oxygen, ventilators for those who will be in need. 

Ramaphosa says the private sector is cooperating with this.

Ramaphosa says government is working on making available general wards to accommodate for COVID-19 patients. 

Ramaphosa says SA has joined international efforts to produce a COVID-19 vaccine and medicine. 

Ramaphosa: A vaccine against this virus does not exist at this point at time.

Ramaphosa says they have made available over 37,000 quarantine beds in the private and public hospital health sector. 

Ramaphosa: We have conducted more than 2 million coronavirus tests and 20 million screenings.

Ramaphosa: As we ready ourselves of the difficult days ahead, we need to remind ourselves on the absolute necessities of these regulations.

Ramaphosa stresses the adherence protocols such as social distancing, sanitising and washing your hands regularly.

Ramaphosa: We need to be aware that we must wear a cloth mask that covers our nose and masks when we leave home.

Ramaphosa: We must make it our important task to prove these (COVID-19) projections wrong.

Ramaphosa urges South Africans to adhere to lockdown regulations and act responsibly. 

Ramaphosa says people who do not adhere to lockdown regulations makes it easier for the virus to spread. "This is how the virus can spread, through carelessness and recklessness."

Ramaphosa: There are some amongst us who continue to ignore the regulations. They also act without any responsibility to act and protect others

Ramaphosa: Gauteng is fast-approaching the 100,000 mark cases. Eastern Cape has passed the 50,000 mark.

Ramaphosa: the coronavirus storm is much fiercer and is stretching our resources.

Ramaphosa: More than half a million people have died from COVID-19 across the world. More than 12.7 million people have been infected with the virus across the world. 

Ramaphosa: As a country, we are not alone in the fight against the coronavirus. 

Ramaphosa:  A quarter of those who have died, died just last week.

Ramaphosa says the country records around 500 cases of COVID 19 every hour.

Ramaphosa: There 276,242 cases of COVID 19 in SA.

Ramaphosa: The surge in infections that we have been advised by our medical experts will come has now arrived. 

Ramaphosa begins his address.

Now the sale of alcohol has been met with a lot criticism, as some have called for the ban on the sale of liquor to return due to the consequences of lifting the ban under alert level 3 of the lockdown, which has added more strain on hospital resources as the country deals with increasing COVID-19 cases.

So, what is Ramaphosa expected to announce this evening? 

Well, details around what to expect ahead of address remain unclear but there seems to be speculation that he may announce stricter measures on some activities, such as the sale of alcohol in the country. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa is this evening set to announce measures that government is planning to put in place to curb the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. The country now has over 264,000 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Good evening and welcome to EWN's live blog Today is day 108 of the country's lockdown and day 41 of lockdown alert level 3 (for those who still care).  The nation is expecting the president's address set to happen shortly.