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'We have let our guard down and are paying the price': Ramaphosa

SA placed on level 3 of lockdown

28 December 2020 - 20:17 By TimesLIVE
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa warned the nation in a televised address on Monday evening that “we have simply let our guard down and we are now paying the price”.

He was speaking about a surge in Covid-19 infections which threatens to overwhelm hospitals in some provinces. He said SA would be placed on level 3 lockdown from midnight.

Citizens were hosting and attending social gatherings, failing to adhere to safety protocols and alcohol abuse was putting “unnecessary strain” on hospitals, he added. 

Ramaphosa was speaking just four days before the new year, traditionally a time of celebration, but he warned there was little to celebrate this time around as nearly 27,000 people had died from Covid-19 in SA.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a return to level 3 lockdown for South Africa during an address on December 28 2020. The lockdown sees the return of the alcohol ban among other revised restrictions. The lockdown will be revised on January 15 2021.

More than 50,000 new cases had been reported in the country since Christmas Eve, he said.

He said the surge was partially driven by socialising, superspreader events and a new variant of the virus.

Countries across the world were taking “drastic measures” which included lockdowns, he said.

He said health care workers in SA were now exhausted. “Unless we act now ... people will lose their lives,” he warned.

This is a developing story.