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Up to 50,000 South Africans could die this year of COVID-19

Between 40,000 to 50,000 South Africans could die this year as the pandemic heads towards its peak.

This was the word from President Cyril Ramaphosa as he said the wearing of cloth masks was going to be enforced. He also extended the national state of disaster to August 15.

“Änyone going into any building for work or whatever must be wearing a cloth mask,”says President Ramaphosa. He said taxis taking long trips were going to be forced to travel at only 70 per cent capacity and ensure all passengers wear masks.

President Ramaphosa also said that the sale of alcohol was going to be suspended with immediate effect. He also said a curfew would be put in place between 9 PM and 4 AM from July 13.

“These measures put unwelcome restrictions on people’s lives and movements but they are necessary to see us through this pandemic,”says Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa also admitted that there was a shortfall of 12000 healthcare workers. Despite this there were 28000 hospital beds as well as 37000 private quarantine beds for those unable to isolate at home, along with 1700 ventilators.

The president also warned that the peak of infections was far awsy with 276,242 recorded cases resulting in 4079 deaths.He said there were nearly 100,000 cases in Gauteng alone with the peak of infections expected before the end of September. He also said that three premiers, including Gauteng Premier David Makhura, had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

More than two million South Africans had been tested for the disease, he said.

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