SUMMARY: Nelson Mandela Bay Metro declared a COVID-19 hotspot

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation this evening at 8pm, on the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa announced localised restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay from midnight to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The National State of Disaster will be extended to 15 January 2021.

The president said three areas in the country are of particular concern: Nelson Mandela Bay, Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape, and the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

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Ramaphosa said many factors have contributed to the surges, including inter- and intra-provincial travel, the movement of seasonal workers, social, cultural and religious gatherings in large numbers that are attended by more people than permitted by the Level 1 restrictions.

Funerals and "after tears" parties were singled out as potential superspreader events.

The president said alcohol-related admissions to hospitals have been reducing hospital capacity.

Ramaphosa said the lack of mask-wearing, poor observance of social distancing and hygiene steps are the major contributing factors to the resurgence of the virus.

"Our main problem is that there are parts of our country where people are not complying with the current restrictions and the basic prevention measures are not being followed.

"The most urgent task before us right now is to contain the rise in infections in the affected districts in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, and to ensure that a similar situation does not develop in other parts of the country," he said.

In order to deal with the rise in infections, the government will be aiming to make more capacity available at hospitals and clinics, expanding public health interventions and awareness campaigns.

Additional measures in the areas identified as coronavirus hotspots will be implemented.

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Within Nelson Mandela Bay, a curfew will be implemented from 10pm to 4am.

Alcohol sales here are restricted from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Alcohol consumption in public spaces is prohibited.

Religious gatherings in the metro are restricted to 100 people when conducted indoors and 250 people when outdoors. 

Post funeral gatherings are prohibited.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be visiting the Sarah Baartman District and the Garden Route to assess the situation and to engage with various stakeholders in the province.

Source
eNCA

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