S.Africa relaxes Covid-19 regulations


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With a continued decline in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases, South Africa will move to the level three adjusted lockdown from level four with bans on alcohol sale and gatherings relaxed, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced.

"In the last two weeks, the number of new infections in Gauteng, which has been the epicentre of the third wave, has steadily been declining," Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying in an address to the nation on Sunday night.

The curfew would remain from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Gatherings which were prohibited would now be permitted with 100 people allowed to gather outside while 50 inside.

"Gatherings include religious services, political events and social gatherings," he said.

Sale of alcohol which was banned during level four would now be allowed.

"The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Monday to Thursday," he said.

Addressing the issue of vaccination, Ramaphosa said from September 1, 18 to 34 year-olds would be inoculated.

He said the country in October would receive 31 million vaccine doses which would be adequate to vaccinate people for the rest of the year.

The president noted that the country is currently administering 240,000 vaccines every weekday, much more than a month ago, when the figure stood at around 100,000.

However, the government is aiming to get 300,000 doses administered every weekday.

"We have made tremendous progress in addressing the challenges we faced as a country and the continent in access to vaccines," he said.

Despite the fact that cases were dropping in Gauteng, new cases in Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were increasing.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the total number of confirmed cases in the country has increased to 2,377,823.

This increase represents a 26.6 per cent positivity rate.

The overall death toll currently stood at 69,775.

Source: IANS

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