Cape Town, South Africa — South Africa eases lockdown measures as “outbreak reaches peak.”
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa says that the Covid-19 infections have appeared to have reach it’s peak in the country and has announced a sweeping relaxation of lockdown measures.
Mr Ramaphosa says that starting from Monday, nearly all restrictions on the country’s economy will be eased.
The controversial ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco will be lifted and the reopening of businesses, domestic traveling and small family gatherings will be allowed as well.
The President said on a TV address on Saturday that the easing of restrictions will help to revive the country’s flagging economy after a period of great hardship for the country.
However, Mr Ramaphosa called on the residents of South Africa to not let their guard down against Covid-19 despite “signs of hope”, warning of difficult times ahead.
South Africa is the fifth worst infected country in the world after the US, Brazil, Russia and India. The country has more than half of Africa’s coronavirus infections, with more than 570,000 cases and 11,500 deaths to date. However, the cases have started to dip in recent days.
Mr Ramaphosa said that the number of new daily confirmed cases had dropped from a peak of more than 12,000 to an average of 5,000 over the past week.
He also said that the recovery rate has increased to 80% and the number of active cases has declined to about 105,000.
“As we look back at the past five months, all indications are the South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the inflection point of the curve,” Mr Ramaphosa said.