Politics

President Cyril Ramaphosa moves all South Africa down to level 3

PRETORIA, South Africa – All of South Africa will move to level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown on June, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday.

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He said this would entail the re-opening of most of the economy and would require most civil servants to return to work. The nationwide night-time curfew will be lifted.

Ramaphosa said areas with a high incidence of coronavirus infections would be declared hotspots. These areas included Cape Town, Tshwane, Ethekwini, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and would see intensive healthcare interventions.”We are particularly concerned about the situation in the city of Cape Town and in the Western Cape in general,” Ramaphosa said.

The president said the sale of alcohol would be allowed under strict trading conditions within clearly defined times. He said the ban on the sale of tobacco products remains in place due to the health risks associated with smoking.

Public gatherings remain prohibited with the exception of funerals, which are limited to 50 mourners, and meetings in the workplace.

The president also announced the reopening of the aviation sector for the purposes of business travel only.
Government has identified a number of hotspots where infections are particularly high and these areas will be dealt with using a “differentialed approach”, Ramaphosa said.

“A hotspot is defined as an area where there are more than 5 infected people per 100 000.”

Among the metros identified as hotspots are Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ethekwini, Ekhuruleni, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town. A number of districts have also been declared coronavirus hotspots.

A full-time team of experienced personnel which includes epidemiologists, nurses,family practitioners and support staff will be assigned to each hotsport.

Ramaphosa said that these hotspots could be moved back to alert leve 4 or 5 at any time if there is a need.

Ramaphosa was addressing the nation on Sunday night to provide an update on developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19.

The president’s address follows recent meetings of Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, which considered the prospects for the country’s progression from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 of the national lockdown, the presidency said.In recent days, President Ramaphosa has also held consultative meetings with the business, labour and community constituencies of the National

Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac); leaders of political parties; traditional leaders; the leadership of interfaith communities; the South African Council of Churches and the tourism industry, which is the single largest source of employment in the private sector.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa’s address to the nation

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