Four of the country’s nine provinces, including Gauteng which boasts Johannesburg and Pretoria, are already battling a third wave of infections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that South Africa needs to reinstate strict measures against COVID-19 that fears the entire country will soon face a third wave of pandemic.
Four of the country’s nine provinces, including Gauteng which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria and has the largest population, are already battling a third wave of infection, Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
“It will only be an hour before the country as a whole can enter a third wave,” he said.
South Africa is officially the most hit country on the continent with more than 1.65 million cases and 56,363 deaths.
“The number of infections is starting to rise in many parts of the country,” the president said of the rise in hospital admissions as well.
“Delaying the spread of the virus is even more important now to allow more people to be vaccinated before the peak wave reaches its peak,” he added.
The country recorded 4,515 new cases in the past 24 hours and Ramaphosa said the “positivity rate” of the tests conducted today is “a cause for concern”.
The bans, starting Monday, will force non-essential establishments such as restaurants, bars and fitness centers to close at 10pm local time (20:00 GMT) because the curfew will add to a time to start at 11pm and end at 4am.
The gatherings, including political and faith events, were limited to 250 people outside and 100 inside.
Authorities have also stopped reading some strict measures, such as limits on people’s movement during the day and bans on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products, which took place last year.
South Africa has seen two previous outbreaks of infections, the first in the middle of last year and a second, more severe wave in December and January when the emergence of a different one pushed infections and deaths. at a higher level than in the first surge.
The virus now follows the “same path” as the waves, according to Ramaphosa.
Experts warn that this wave, which comes in the winter in the Southern Hemisphere, could be even more severe.
The surge in cases has also given more attention to the delay in vaccine launch in South Africa. Only about 1.5 percent of the country’s 60 million people have received the vaccine.
The government, burned for not buying vaccines quickly, says it is paying for the dose to cover 40 million of South Africans ’59 million – or enough to reach herd resistance.
Ramaphosa has always criticized “vaccine apartheid” in rich countries that buy most of the vaccine doses.
“As the African continent we are pushing forward with efforts to expand our vaccine manufacturing capacity with the aim of being self -sufficient in vaccine production,” he said.
South Africa and India are campaigning for the end of patent rights on coronavirus vaccines to help each country make its own supplies.
The G7 summit of rich countries will discuss the issue at a summit in the United Kingdom next month.