President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved South Africa to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 following a steady decline in the number of new cases and active cases in the country.
The announcement right at the beginning of March gives hope to millions of Christians who missed the Holy Easter Weekend last night because of the outbreak of coronavirus.
The announcement in the latest Family Meeting means public gatherings, social and religious gatherings are allowed with venues allowed to cater for up to 50% of their maximum capacities.
The president said, “This coming Friday will mark exactly one year since the first case of coronavirus was reported in South Africa.
“Since then, more than one-and-a-half million people in South African have been infected and nearly 50,000 people have been reported to have died from the disease.”
Ramaphosa also announced plans to inoculate millions of people before the end of 2021, with 67 000 nurses already vaccinated.
From next week, the number of sites to be used from vaccination will increase from 17 to 49 sites.
“Of the 49 sites, 32 will be at public hospitals and 17 sites in private hospitals.
“This includes sites in rural areas to improve access to rural healthcare workers.”
The country has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses.
“Of these doses, 2.8 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter and the rest spread throughout the year.
We have also secured 20 million doses from Pfizer, which will be delivered from the second quarter.
Additionally, we have secured 12 million vaccine doses from the COVAX facility and are in the process of finalising our dose allocation from the African Union.”
The move to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 also has the following implications:
- Alcohol sales permitted. No alcohol may be sold during curfew.
- The wearing of cloth masks or similar covering the nose and mouth is still mandatory.
- Curfew is from midnight to 4am. Apart from permitted workers, no one should be outside their home during curfew.
- Gatherings are permitted. Indoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of venue capacity up to a maximum number of 100 people.
- Outdoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of the venue capacity up to a maximum of 250 people.
Picture source: @CyrilRamaphosa