From recovering economic status to securing more vaccines: 5 key points from Cyril Ramaphosa’s address
SA has moved to alert level 1 lockdown after two months of adjusted level 3.
This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night.
He said the country had emerged from the second wave, with fewer than 10,000 new Covid-19 infections recorded in the past week compared to December last year and January.
He said due to the steady decline in infections, social, political, religious and cultural gatherings were now allowed and the curfew is now from 12pm to 4am.
Ramaphosa’s address comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of the first Covid-19 case reported in SA.
Here are five key points from his address:
Level 1 to recover economic status
The president said he hoped the move to level 1 would increase employment.
“The return to alert level 1 means most of the remaining restrictions on economic activity have been removed. We expect this to lead to higher consumption spending, bolstered by the steady recovery in employment. We expect businesses to implement the plans they may have put on hold.”
Night vigils and ‘after tears’ still not allowed
While most gatherings will be permitted, night vigils, “after tears” events and night clubs remained prohibited, said Ramaphosa.
“Gatherings will be permitted, subject to limitations on size, adherence to social distancing and other health protocols. These include religious, social, political and cultural gatherings.
“The maximum number of people allowed at any gathering is 100 indoors or 250 outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used. Night vigils and other gatherings before or after funerals are still not permitted.”
Vaccinations sites increased
He said the number of vaccination sites around the country would be increased next week.
“The number of sites available for vaccination will be expanded next week from 17 to 49. Of the 49 sites, 32 will be at public hospitals and 17 in private hospitals. This includes sites in rural areas to improve access for rural health workers.”
Phase two vaccine rollout set for late April
The president said phase two of the vaccine rollout will be between late April or early May, after the vaccination of health workers has been completed.
“Phase two will include the elderly, essential workers, persons living or working in institutional settings and those with comorbidities. For this phase, we will be activating many more sites for vaccination in the public and private healthcare sectors so we can reach as many people in the shortest possible time.”
11 million vaccine doses to be delivered throughout the year
Ramaphosa said the government signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million vaccine doses which will be delivered throughout the year.
“We recently signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses. Of these doses, 2.8 million 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 AU.”