South Africa tightens restrictions
Authorities in South Africa have imposed new restrictions in a last ditch attempt to stem a sharp rise in Covid-19 that is ravaging the country’s economic heartland.
The wave of infections has been driven by the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, weak countermeasures and public fatigue with existing restrictions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said all gatherings, indoors and outdoors, would be banned for 14 days, along with the sale of alcohol, dining in restaurants and travel to or from the worst-hit areas of the country. An extended curfew would also be imposed, and schools shut early for holidays.
“We have overcome two decisive waves but now we have a new hill to climb, a great challenge, a massive resurgence of infections … a devastating wave,” Ramaphosa said, speaking on national television on Sunday night.
South Africa’s rising cases are part of a resurgence across Africa, with a peak expected to exceed that of earlier waves as the continent’s 54 countries struggle to vaccinate even a small percentage of their populations: