In the wake of augmenting cases of COVID-19 and with an aim of curbing its spread, South Africa has introduced new restrictions, including night-time curfew, obligatory wearing of masks outdoors and another ban on alcohol sales.
In a public address, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that “most” people had taken action to help prevent the spread, but he said there were still some who acted “without any responsibility to respect and protect each other”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban would take pressure off the national healthcare system. It is the second ban on alcohol in South Africa that comes just weeks after another three-month ban was lifted in an effort to prevent drunken fighting, cut domestic violence and eliminate weekend binge-drinking prevalent across South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “There are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around crowded spaces without wearing masks.”
The President said that the new measures were being introduced to help the country to weather the storm of coronavirus, and a state of emergency would be extended until August 15. The night-time ban would be in place from 21:00 to 04:00.
Despite making available nearly 28,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, President Ramaphosa said that South Africa still faced a “serious” shortage of more than 12,000 healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors and physiotherapists.
South Africa remains the hardest-hit country on the continent, the province of Gauteng being the epicentre of the outbreak.