Covid-19: Tighter restrictions as South Africa hit by a second wave of infections


South Africa reported 7,999 new covid-19 cases within the past 24 hours sending the country's overall tally to 860,964.

170 deaths reported during the same period rose the death count to 23,276. According to official figures, over 761,011 recoveries have been reported to date. Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's Health Minister warned the public that they are currently experiencing the second wave of the pandemic. The remarks were made next to Nelson Mandela Bay where the lockdown measures were tightened due to the rising covid-19 cases. 

Also read: South Africa records a rise in new cases of covid-19 infections

He described the end of year mass gatherings as the next super-spreader events. Statistics across South Africa show that infections are highest among the 15-19 age group. This demographic group is mobile and her carriers are mainly asymptomatic.

New restrictive measures

Late Monday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa publicly announced further restrictions to curb the resurgence of infections across the country. The new restrictions were arrived at during a meeting of the cabinet officials and provincial authorities. On Monday midnight they will go into full effect. 

Also read: The impact of Coronavirus on South Africa's tourism

The nationwide curfew is now extended from 11pm to 4am and mandates all non-essential establishments such as bars and restaurants to close by 10 pm. All authorities are instructed to enforce the new Level 1 restrictions across the country as they mark the festive season. Restrictions were made on the number of people gathering at the venue. As part of the measures: Any form of congregating such as parties and social gatherings is restricted to less than 100 people.

The highest infection rates are in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, public parks and beaches will remain closed during the festive season till January 3rd. 

Access to beaches and parks are open to the public from 9am to 6pm. All public transport drivers should mandate a mask and employers must ensure that they too wear masks. 

Also read: Coronavirus reported in South Africa

Ramaphosa deemed the new restrictive measures as highly necessary even singling out its exacerbation from the reluctance of members of the public to adhere to non-pharmacological covid-19 measures. 

High profile victims

Over the weekend, the Prime Minister of Eswatini - which borders South Africa - succumbed to the virus. His life was cut short at 52 years of age adding to the 127 confirmed deaths of the tiny country of 1.2 million people. The announcement of the death of Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini was made by deputy prime minister, Themba Masuku. According to the World Health Organization, Africa has recorded 2.3 million cases of Covid-19, 2 million recoveries, and over 55,000 cumulative deaths.