IN QUOTES | 7 things you need to know about SA remaining on alert level 4 lockdown

12 July 2021 - 07:15
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that SA will remain under lockdown level 4 for another 14 days.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that SA will remain under lockdown level 4 for another 14 days.
Image: GCIS

SA will remain on alert level 4 for two more weeks due to a continued surge in Covid-19 infections across the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on the country’s response to Covid-19 on Sunday and maintained the ban on alcohol sales and social gatherings.

The address comes two weeks after Ramaphosa announced that SA would move to alert level 4.

He said the restrictions were necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19 and ease the pressure on the health system.

Here are seven important things you need to know from the address:

Infections are rising 

“In the last two weeks over 4,200 South Africans have lost their lives to Covid-19. While Gauteng accounts for more than half of new infections, infections are rapidly increasing in the Western Cape, Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.”

The healthcare system is under pressure

“Our health system countrywide remains under pressure. By next week, daily hospital admissions across the country are likely to reach the levels observed during the peak of the first two waves.”

A continued ban on gatherings

“We know that the coronavirus spreads at funerals, at office meetings, at parties, at family occasions, and at restaurants and taverns.

“That is why, at adjusted alert level 4, we have had to prohibit religious, social and political gatherings.”

Alcohol ban remains

“We know that restrictions on alcohol sales reduce the number of admissions at hospitals and emergency rooms with alcohol-related trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents and interpersonal violence.

"Reducing alcohol harm frees up much-needed capacity in our health facilities to deal with Covid-19 cases.”

More than 4 million citizens are vaccinated

“To date, over 4.2 million people in SA have received a vaccine dose, with one million of these having been done over the past seven weekdays.

"The pace of vaccination has more than doubled in the last month, and will continue to increase. Presently, nearly 190,000 people are on average being vaccinated each weekday.”

Chinese vaccine approved by the regulator

“We welcome the decision by Sahpra [South African Health Products Regulatory Authority] to approve the CoronaVac vaccine from China for use in SA. The Vaccine Advisory Committee is working on how soon we can bring CoronaVac into the vaccination programme.

“We have had to make difficult decisions, knowing that almost every decision carries a cost to the economy and society.”

Affected sectors to benefit from UIF Ters

“Following the move to level 4, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) embarked on negotiations with social partners to address the difficulties of employees who lost income under these restrictions.

“On the basis of these discussions, the UIF has decided that the Covid-19 TERS scheme should be extended to sectors affected by adjusted level 4 restrictions.”