Country set to remain on level 1 lockdown over festive season

Country set to remain on level 1 lockdown over festive season

The country will remain under level 1 lockdown as the festive season begins.

A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol is seen in Eldorado Park on March 30, 2020. South Africa came under a nationwide lockdown on March 27, 2020, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt

This according to the Department of Health.


Scientists and experts met on Wednesday, with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) set to decide if there’s a need to revise lockdown restrictions.


The meeting was chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza while President Cyril Ramaphosa recovers from Covid-19. 


On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed regulations would remain unchanged.


“The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla calls for responsible behaviour and stronger compliance with COVID-19 prevention and treatment protocols during the festive season as the National Coronavirus Command Council retains the Lockdown restrictions at Adjusted Level 1,” says Health spokesperson Foster Mohale. 


This means businesses will breathe a sigh of relief as the latest announcement is unlikely to bring any more disruptions to the bottom line.


A curfew remains in place between midnight and 4am.


The sale of alcohol is permitted but not outside curfew hours. 


Indoor gatherings are limited to 750 attendees, while outdoor events are limited to 2000 people. 


But no more than 100 people are permitted at funerals, while night vigils and ‘after-tears’ remain banned. 


“The NCCC has reflected on the current Covid-19 situation and deliberated on number of recommendations tabled by the Department of Health as part of safety measures to prevent a possible surge in Covid-19 infections during the festive period, which is associated with all sorts of social gatherings like parties and weddings, which can be ‘super spreader’ events that carry a huge risk of transmission of the virus.”


This while the number of infections continues to rise. Close to 27 000 new cases were reported on Wednesday evening.


The positivity rate sits at 32.2%.


“The council has directed the department to closely monitor the rising Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations, mortality and recovery rates which are largely driven by Omicron variant, which is contributing to the 4th wave in the country.


“The department will continue to closely monitor the situation throughout this period in terms of daily infection cases, hospitalisations, mortality and recovery rates, and make necessary recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council in the best interest of people’s lives and livelihoods,” Mohale adds. 


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