Virus-hit South Africa curbs land border traffic, extends restrictions

Clay Curtis
January 12, 2021

Ramaphosa made the announcement in an address to the nation on Monday night.

Providing a fitting send-off for loved ones is part of people's culture, Ramaphosa said, but he warned that some of the rituals performed at funerals and in the run-up could not continue. "We call on all South Africans to support and honour this decision and not to do anything to subvert it", says Smithers.

"Let us pay heed to this", he said.

With a series of consultations behind him this past week - including within the ANC and its alliance partners - Ramaphosa could give a more extensive update on South Africa's efforts to acquire a vaccine. This amounts to around 40 million people in South Africa.

"SA has been engaging directly with several vaccine manufacturers for over six months and while there are promising negotiations with different manufacturers that still need to be concluded, we have to date secured 20 million doses to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year".

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said these vaccines would be distributed with priority to frontline healthcare workers in the country, both in the public and private sectors.

"Phase 1, with the first batch of vaccines, we will prioritise around 1.2 million front line health workers".

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The hours of curfew have been changed and the national curfew will now begin at 21:00 and end at 05:00, Ramaphosa said.

"The country has recorded more than 4,600 COVID-19 deaths so far this year".

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday extended recently imposed coronavirus restrictions and placed curbs on land border traffic, as the country grapples with an unprecedented surge in cases fuelled by a new virus strain.

He also announced that land ports of entry into the country would be closed, including Beitbridge. "Many people are arriving without proof of COVID-19 tests", Ramaphosa said.

The country will remain on virus alert level 3, and the alcohol ban that was due to expire on January 15 will remain in place, Ramaphosa said on Monday in a televised address.

Bishop said the continued focus on social interactions rather than economic activities in the restrictions was important given that the economy was still "extremely weakened and still fragile".

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