- The President said that the move is aimed at reviving the country’s ailing economy.
- Among the restrictions to be lifted is a ban on the alcohol sale, businesses will be opened, domestic travel and small gatherings will be allowed.
- There will be an extension of the school calendar to enhance the recovery of the lost time.
South African plans to ease restrictions imposed in order to curb the coronavirus pandemic. The President, Cyril Ramaphosa said that since the country has reached its peak, he revealed that he plans to ease almost all restrictions. “As we look back at the past five months, all indications are that South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the inflection of the curve,” the President said.
Among the restrictions to be lifted is a ban on the alcohol sale, businesses will be opened, domestic travel and small gatherings will be allowed. Movements between provinces will also be allowed. President Ramaphosa said that a ban on international travel will continue. Large gathering, as well as crowds at sporting events, will not be allowed.
Speaking in a television address, the President said that the move is aimed at reviving the country’s ailing economy. He warned the citizens against relaxing in observing the measures to curb the virus. Then he adding that reaching the peak doesn’t mean that the pandemic was over.
In the address, the President also revealed that all the people involved in corruption, in relation to the fight against the virus, will be brought to book. Besides an overstretched healthcare system, corruption has also been a major problem at pulling back the efforts to fight the pandemic.
Last month, a top health officer was forced to step down following corruption allegations on government contracts for the COVID-19 personal protective equipment.
The country has so far recorded more than half a million coronavirus cases with 11,677 deaths and 467,000 recoveries. South Africa is ranked fifth in terms of the number of infections in the world. The country leads Africa where it accounts for more than half of the total cases in the continent. Africa has so far recorded more than 1 million cases.
Experts have continually warned that the continent is headed to its peak, although they have criticized the slow rate of testing in the region. However, South Africa has been hailed for testing a large number of its population.
The country reported its first case on March 5 and in the same month it imposed one of the toughest restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The move greatly helped in containing the spread of the virus in the country. In June, the country began easing the restrictions, a move that saw the reopening of schools and a ban on the sale of alcohol lifted.
However, the number of new cases of the virus increased forcing the ban of alcohol to be re-imposed and a closure of all public schools. While announcing the closure, the president said there would be an extension of the school calendar to enhance the recovery of the lost time for the numerous shut downs. The schools are set to reopen on August 24.