South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced the easing of the current level 1 lockdown in a national address, reported Africa News.
Ramaphosa has warned of growing pandemic fatigue across the country and the possibility of second coronavirus resurgence.
“While the coronavirus has declined in the cases over the last two months, we must acknowledge that this pandemic has taken a great toll on the health and wellbeing of our people,” he said. “If we are to prevent the resurgence of infection there are a few areas where we must pay attention to.”
Despite the concerns, the South African president said that the country will reopen international travel to all countries subject to health and safety regulations, subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative Covid-19 certificate.
“We expect that these measures will greatly assist businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation.“As restrictions on international travel are lifted, it is more important than ever for travelers to follow all safety protocols to protect their health and minimise the risk of acquiring Covid-19.”
The South African president also extended has extended the state of emergency in the country by a month to December 15 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the extension has been announced only to ensure that all the necessary prevention measures could be kept in place.
Commenting on the coronavirus vaccine, Ramaphosa said that South Africa was collaborating with several multinational pharmaceutical companies to obtain a safe and effective vaccine for its citizens and for the rest of the African continent. He added that Africa would likely need around USD 12 billion and 750 million doses of an effective vaccine.
“Countries are going to have to allocate funding so that there can be access to vaccines to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.”