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Rapid rise in COVID-19 infection; South Africa imposed new measures

New measures have been taken in South Africa in view of the rapid rise in the COVID-19 infection. President Cyril Ramaphosa enforced new measures after South Africa became the continent’s first to register one million coronavirus cases.

President Ramaphosa has made it mandatory in South Africa to wear a mask in public, as the new strain of COVID-19 is worse than the previous one. He also announced a new ban on alcohol sales.

He announced that the new ban would take effect from midnight. He added that the country’s curfew will now begin at 9 pm.

Non-essential establishments such as shops, bars and restaurants will be closed from 8 pm. All large gatherings will be prohibited for the next two weeks. Funerals are allowed, but will be limited to 50 people.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in South Africa two days ago has exceeded one million. The country has registered nearly 27,000 deaths.

Mr. Ramaphosa said more than 41,000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

“Unless we act now and unless we act decisively, the number of new infections will far exceed what we experienced during the first wave and thousands more people will lose their lives,” he said.

He pointed out that the rise in the spread of the virus was due to social events and a lack of vigilance during the holiday period. “We have let down our guard, and unfortunately we are now paying the price,” the president said.

The worst-hit country in Africa had previously banned the sale of alcohol in March. Mr. Ramaphosa said the data showed that “excessive alcohol consumption” leads to a rise in trauma cases reported in hospitals. Such admissions create unnecessary strain to the public health facilities,” he said.

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