Moneycontrol PRO
Upcoming Webinar:Watch Kushal Bhagi of Tortuga Wealth Managers decode how you can maximise your MF investments on Sept 21 @11am. Register Now
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

South Africa extends tight COVID-19 restrictions for another 14 days

The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

July 12, 2021 / 08:06 AM IST

South Africa extended tight COVID-19 rules on Sunday for another 14 days, maintaining restrictions that include a ban on gatherings, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a prohibition on the sale of alcohol.

The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

"Our health system countrywide remains under pressure," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation.

Early this month South Africa recorded a new record of over 26,000 daily cases, stretching hospitals to breaking point.

Ramaphosa moved the country to the fourth level of a five-tier restriction scale in late June as infections climbed, promising to review the restrictions after two weeks.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

On Sunday he said the cabinet had decided to maintain "adjusted alert level 4" for another 14 days, although restaurants would be able to serve food on their premises again subject to strict health protocols. Gyms would also be allowed to reopen under certain conditions.

Ramaphosa added that a government advisory committee was working on how soon to bring Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine into the COVID-19 immunisation programme.

So far the vaccine campaign has been slow, with 4.2 million doses administered out of a population of 60 million, but officials are hoping to ramp up daily vaccinations to at least 300,000 by the end of August.

Ramaphosa said the African Union and European Union had reached an agreement for local pharmaceutical company Aspen to deliver more than 17 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses to South Africa and other African countries over the next three months.

Aspen is sourcing vaccine ingredients from J&J to package them in South Africa, a process known as fill and finish.

Ramaphosa said his country was negotiating for the drug substance to be produced locally, "so that we have a fully-owned African vaccine manufactured on African soil".
Reuters
first published: Jul 12, 2021 08:06 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark