Jun 15, 2021 - World

South Africa tightens COVID restrictions as cases, hospitalizations surge

A doctor puts on gloves in a hospital.
A hospital worker disposes her personal protective equipment in Tembisa, South Africa. Photo: Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images.

South Africa is tightening restrictions on public gatherings and liquor sales, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Tuesday, blaming a rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, AP reports.

The big picture: The country's 7-day rolling average of new daily cases has jumped from 6.69 per 100,00 people on May 31 to 12.71 per 100,000 people on June 14, according to John Hopkins University. Ramaphosa said hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased 59% over the same period of time.

Details: The country's nightly curfew has been extended by an hour from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. local time, per AP.

  • Only 50 people are allowed to gather for social events indoors, and outdoor events are limited to 100 people.
  • Alcohol sales are only permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time from Monday through Thursday.

What they're saying: "Our priority now is to make sure there are enough hospital beds, enough hospital workers, enough ventilators, and enough oxygen to give the best possible care to every person who needs it," Ramaphosa said, per AP.

  • “The massive surge in new infections means that we must once again tighten restrictions on the movement of persons and gatherings,” he added.
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