CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #95
Lockdown Level 3 is here to stay as Ramaphosa stresses impact of individual actions against pandemic
Over the weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged people to remember that the Covid-19 storm is inevitable, but that individual actions determine its path. He also announced that lockdown Level 3 is here to stay for now, but with some stricter terms. Meanwhile, Dis-Chem suspended its testing service because of a laboratory backlog. In Buffalo City, the municipality was mourning the loss of its Speaker to Covid-19. In addition, a former commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Thomas Manthata, died of Covid-19.
Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 12 July at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments; however, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State did not provide an update by the time of publishing:
“We can’t stop the storm, but we can limit the damage,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on Sunday 12 July. Much of his speech focused on the power of individual actions and personal responsibility to slow the spread of Covid-19, to lessen the burden on hospitals and clinics and weaken the stigma of having the virus.
He called the pandemic “the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy”, but said that he is convinced that South Africa can overcome it. He warned that the predicted surge is here, and things are going to get a lot harder, but that the past few months have shown that people in South Africa can stand by one another.
He said all provinces will see a peak in Covid-19 infections at different times from July to September. The National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet have decided that a return to lockdown Level 4 or Level 5 would not reduce the transmission of Covid-19 sufficiently to warrant its economic and social costs. Therefore, the entire country remains on lockdown Level 3.
Regulations on wearing masks will be beefed up and people will be refused entrance to buildings or transport without one.
Taxis can now run at 100% capacity for short trips and 70% capacity for longer trips. The sale and distribution of alcohol has been banned because of the pressure alcohol-related health emergencies place on hospitals. A curfew between 9pm and 4am will be in place from Monday 13 July.
In addition, the State of Disaster has been extended to 15 August.
On Saturday, Ramaphosa announced a Special Official Funeral Category 1 will be held for AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile. She died of Covid-19 in East London last Wednesday at the age of 56. The funeral will take place on Saturday and Sunday in King William’s Town and all national flags will be flown at half mast. This type of funeral “entails elements of military ceremonial honours” for “persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa”.
On Sunday, the Buffalo City Metro Municipality announced that speaker Alfred Mtsi had died from Covid-19 related complications. He had been hospitalised on Tuesday. The municipality has lost two councillors, Gideon Norexe and Zukiswa Mankayi, to the virus.
On Friday night, a former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Thomas Manthata, died from Covid-19-related complications at the age of 80. He also served on the South African Human Rights Commission and was the secretary-general of the Azanian People’s Organisation.
Dis-Chem paused its Covid-19 testing services on Friday, 10 July, “for the foreseeable future” because of a backlog at laboratories.
“Due to high volumes of urgent hospital Covid-19 tests, laboratories no longer have the capacity to process test results within a reasonable time frame”, it said. DM/MC
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