South Africa will immediately enforce the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more open beds to treat patients with COVID-19, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In the face of increasing hospitalizations due to the coronavirus outbreak, South Africa also restored the night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and forced all residents to wear face masks when they are in public.
In a nationally televised speech on Sunday, Ramaphosa said senior health officials warned of the impending shortage of hospital beds and oxygen as South Africa reaches a peak in COVID-19 cases. He said some hospitals have had to reject patients because all of their beds are full.
Ramaphosa said that since the sale and distribution of alcohol was reintroduced in June, hospitals have seen an increase in admissions to their trauma and emergency rooms.
South Africa‘The rapid increase in reported cases has made it one of the best in the world.‘s focuses on COVID-19, as it is ranked as the ninth most affected country by the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. It has reported increases of more than 10,000 confirmed cases over several days and the last daily jump was nearly 13,500.
South Africa accounts for 40 percent of all confirmed cases in Africa with 276,242, an increase of 12,058 in one day. It has recorded 4,079 deaths, 25 percent of which have been in the past week, Ramaphosa said.
“While the increase in infections was expected, the strength and speed with which it has progressed have caused great concern,” Ramaphosa said.
“Many of us are afraid of the danger that this represents for us and for our families.“
The nationwide curfew requires people not to be on the roads between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. local time, starting Monday.
The masks have also been made mandatory with all transportation operators, employers, and business and building owners who are now legally required to ensure that everyone entering their businesses or premises wears masks.
Ramaphosa criticized citizens who continued to have social gatherings, including overcrowded parties and funerals, saying they contributed significantly to the rapid spread of the virus.
“In the midst of our national effort to fight this virus, there are a number of people who have dedicated themselves to throwing parties, having partying, and some walking in crowded spaces without masks,” he said.
South Africa imposed one of the strictest blockades in the world in April and May, including the closure of virtually all mines, factories and businesses, and a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. The measures slowed the spread of the coronavirus, but South Africa’s economy, already in recession, drastically contracted, increasing unemployment above 30 percent.
In June, the country began to relax restrictions to allow millions of South Africans to return to work. The easing of restrictions allowed the sale of alcohol in licensed stores four days a week.
However, within a few weeks, the number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations in the country increased dramatically, prompting Ramaphosa to re-impose a ban on the sale of alcohol and other restrictions.
More than 30 percent of South Africa‘The cases are in the economic center of Gauteng province, which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, and the executive capital, Pretoria.
The resort, Cape Town, also has a large number of cases. Johannesburg‘The densely populated municipality of Soweto has a high concentration of cases, according to authorities.
“We knew that with the easing of restrictions, the number of cases would increase. But what is surprising is the speed with which the numbers of cases have grown,” said Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, who is part of the national coronavirus committee that is advising. Ramaphosa
“We can expect to see an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations for several weeks … In October we could be seeing a decrease.”
Africa‘s 54 countries have collectively reported 577,904 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa. The continent‘Confirmed cases are concentrated in four countries: South Africa, Egypt with 81,158 cases, Nigeria with 31,987 cases and Algeria with 18,712 cases, which together represent more than 65 percent of the continent‘s total cases.
The number of actual cases in Africa is believed to be much higher, as the evidence rate is extremely low in many countries.