Photo Credit: @thatoseabi via Twenty20
South Africa Eases Up Restrictions On One Of The Strictest Lockdowns In The World
Since the pandemic hit, South Africa has been making strides to ensure its COVID-19 cases remain low. As a result, the country has implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. However, in the past week, they’ve begun to ease some of their restrictions.
Currently, South Africa has over 5,600 cases of COVID-19, while this is much less than the over 1.24 million cases in the U.S., health workers in South Africa are still concerned. According to AP News, on Friday, health workers, unions, and civil society members protested outside of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto for personal protective equipment.
The country has now gone from Level 5 to Level 4 restrictions which means that many restaurants can start serving takeout and deliveries again and factories and agricultural businesses can resume production in phases. However, purchasing liquor and cigarettes is still not allowed. According to police and health officials, smoking can make respiratory issues that come with COVID-19 worse, and banning the sales of alcohol has reduced the number of traffic accidents and brawls in the country.
Residents are allowed to leave their homes for physical activity only during the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and a curfew is set in place daily from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.
While buses and public transportation are permitted to operate with a restricted number of passengers, domestic and international travel is still banned.
Schools will begin reopening in phases starting June 1st with students in Grade 7 to Grade 12. Teachers are currently protesting for schools to remain closed until it is proven that conditions are safe.
There have been over 200,000 coronavirus tests in South Africa.