June 28, 2021 Monday
“In the grip of a catastrophic wave”
The next mutant is rolling across South Africa
The corona mutation, now known as the beta variant, first came from South Africa – and caused catastrophe there. Now the delta mutation is taking over the country. The government re-enacted the second highest warning. There is concern that those already recovering from beta infections are no longer safe.
After an unusually sharp increase in the number of infections, South Africa is significantly tightening its corona controls. President Cyril Ramaphosa raised the alarm in a televised address on Sunday evening to the second-highest level – the fifth level a complete lockout. The day before it was known that the highly contagious delta variant was under the control of the Cape State.
Ramaphosa says South Africans who were previously affected by the beta variant and later recovered are now at risk. “We are in the grip of a catastrophic wave.” The metropolitan area around the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg has reported more than 60 percent of new outbreaks, particularly affected. Travel is allowed only in exceptional cases.
President Ramaphosa declared that “all meetings are forbidden, whether inside or outside” – except for funerals. Wine can no longer be sold in South Africa. Restaurants are only allowed to serve or serve food. The night curfew order has been extended by one hour. Tight measures initially apply for two weeks. Ramaphosa said South Africa was struggling with a “massive increase” in new epidemics. Hospitals have already reached their capacity, especially when intensive care beds are scarce.
South Africa is the most affected country in Africa by the epidemic. So far 1.9 million cases have been documented there. Nearly 60,000 people died from the epidemic. Of the nearly 60 million South Africans, about 2.7 million are vaccinated. Previous restrictions have had a devastating effect on the economy. Millions of people are struggling to survive, and poverty and food insecurity have worsened dramatically in just a few weeks. Even before the epidemic, Africa’s second-largest economy was in dire straits.