President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce an extension of South Africa’s modified Level 4 lockdown on Sunday night (July 11).
The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet to assess developments in the Covid-19 pandemic and the national response to this challenge.
The NCCC meeting is followed by meetings of the Coordinating Council and the Office of the President.
city press however, reported that the cabinet decided two weeks ago that Ramaphosa would announce level 4 Covid-19 restrictions for 21 days.
However, to allay business concerns, he opted for two weeks, with the intention of revisiting the lockdown afterward.
Two cabinet members told the newspaper that Ramaphosa is likely to extend the lockdown for another two weeks, effectively putting the restrictions on until the end of July.
“While there now appears to be an effort to revise restrictions, this will likely be a mechanical exercise as all indications are that the status quo will remain, with room open for additional restrictions as the number of Covid-19 infections increases. still escalating,” says a cabinet member.
The Sunday Times also reported: that the lockdown is likely to be extended, including a ban on alcohol, and an extension until the school holidays in July.
The extension comes as South Africa continues to report a high number of Covid-19 cases across the country. On Saturday (July 10), 21,610 new cases of Covid-19 were registered, with 211,052 active cases across the country.
An additional 265 deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 64,138, while 4.2 million vaccines have been administered to date.
#COVID-19 UPDATE: A total of 77,117 tests have been conducted in the last 24 hours, with 21,610 new cases, representing a 28% positivity rate. Another 265 #COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to date to 64,138. Read more: https://t.co/FxLNWYC53i pic.twitter.com/ZWzokGeAj6
— NICD (@nicd_sa) July 10, 2021
Ridhwaan Suliman, senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), noted that the curve of infections in the worst-hit province of Gauteng is reversing. The province reported more than 10,000 new infections in the past 24 hours.
— Ridhwaan Suliman (@rid1tweets) July 10, 2021
As of July 3, 2021, 313,258 Covid-19 admissions and 63,741 hospital deaths were reported from 659 facilities (402 in the public sector and 257 in the private sector) in all nine provinces of South Africa.
Increases have been observed in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northwest, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces and have reached the threshold for the third wave.
Increased admissions have also been observed in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in the past four weeks. Continued declines in admissions have been observed in the Free State and Northern Cape for four weeks.
Weekly private sector withdrawals in the third wave have surpassed peaks in the second wave in Free State, Gauteng and Northern Cape.
Businesses affected by the lockdown, especially restaurants and the alcohol industry, have warned that the restrictions are not sustainable.
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) said current restrictions continue to decimate the sector and will not be supported.
In a statement on Friday (9 July), the association announced that it had approached all ministerial cabinets in consultation for emergency aid and postponement. To date, however, it said it has not received any positive feedback or hopes for compensation.
“The government has a responsibility to listen to us and consult with us. Retail and transportation have not made any compromises nor have they imposed restrictions or remodeled their businesses.
“The restaurant industry will no longer tolerate compromise if it doesn’t pay attention to controlling the uncontrolled spaces or shutting down the illegal trade, while we build up huge debts and lose our livelihood.
“Restaurants simply can’t survive without alcohol or regulars or dinner time sales.”
Read: ‘Long Covid’ to affect jobs and absenteeism in South Africa: expert