LIVE BLOG: SA moves up to alert level 3 effective Tuesday night

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation following a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.

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"God continue to bless our beautiful country South Africa and continue to protect her people. I thank you."

"We will not be daunted by the size or complexity of the task that lies before us..."

Ramaphosa says fewer healthcare workers are getting infected on a daily basis, which is encouraging.

Ramaphosa says we will try to vaccinate 300,000 over 60s per day. He encourages the elderly to register if they have not already.

J&J expects to deliver 2 million vaccines by the end of June to replace the 2 million that must be destroyed. These will be used to vaccinate teachers and security personnel. The immediate task is to vaccinate over 60s without delay.

Ramaphosa reiterates that 2 million J&J vaccine doses are unusable. Production at the Gqeberha plant has been ramped up.

"The pace of vaccination has steadily picked, we are now vaccinating around 80,000."

16 June commemoration tomorrow will be a virtual address by the president.

Face mask-wearing remains mandatory

Ramaphosa says cabinet has moved SA ato alert level 3, effective later this evening.

Curfew from 10pm to 4am
Restaurants, bars will need to close at 9pm
Gatherings limited to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
Funerals may not exceed 50 people
Night vigils, after tears are banned
Sale of alcohol only permitted from 10 - 6pm from Mon to Thurs, excluding public holidays.

"Our priority now is to make sure there are enough hospital beds, healthcare workers, oxygen, ventilators..."

Ramaphosa reiterates that we need to change our behaviour because oftentimes, there are lapses in behaviour. With this, we can bring down the rate of infection.

Ramaphosa says many who are infected are asymptomatic and may be passing the virus around.

Ramaphosa says we must stick to the basic restrictions that are critical to containing infections.

"Private hospitals have reported that they are near capacity we must act quickly and decisively to contain the rise in infections."

With the exception of the Northern Cape, all province are experiencing a rise in infections. Four provinces have declared a third wave, with Gauteng worst hit - accounting for two-thirds of all infections across the country.

Average number of people who are dying is increasing by 45%.

"We have started to recover and rebuild although we have encountered setbacks, our vaccine rollout is gaining momentum... however, we still have a mountain to climb. We have to contain this new wave."

Ramaphosa says he knows we are concerned about constraints that lockdown has on our freedoms, yet these restrictions have been effective in containing the virus as we have gone through 2 waves so far and are currently in a third.

"We are struggling to cope with the impact that this impact has had on millions of South Africans."

"It's exactly 15 months since we declared a lockdown... we've never experienced a health crisis of this severity, nor one that is so prolonged. It is understandable that many feel tired and weary..."

Ramaphosa begins his address...

Gauteng is one of the provinces with the most concerning situation.

South Africans are sharing their "predictions" on Twitter about tonight...

District health officials said that new clusters were widespread.

Data showed that Mossel Bay had the most active COVID-19 cases, with 282 people diagnosed with the virus.

The Garden Route district has been hit with a 110% rise in new COVID-19 cases over just the last seven days.

Western Cape Health officials said that all sub-districts in the region were seeing a surge in cases except for Oudtshoorn, with a minimal increase, and Kannaland, which remained unchanged.

 Deputy President David Mabuza said the government lockdown and vaccine rollout had prevented a catastrophe.

He was responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

They said the country's vaccine drive had long been marred by avoidable delays, errors and a lack of transparency.

It added that 114 more people had died as a result of COVID-19, putting South Africa's total COVID-19 death toll at 57,879.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (67%), followed by the Western Cape (8%) and the North West (5%).

The latest address comes amid rising COVID-19 infection rates as the country finds itself firmly in the grip of the third wave.

Overnight, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that 5,552 new cases had been recorded, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1,752,630.

With South Africa already bumped up to lockdown level 2 currently, will President Cyril Ramaphosa announce tighter restrictions on Tuesday night?

The Presidency announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Tuesday.

The President’s address follows a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.