Lockdown Eased As Covid-19 Vaccine Lands in South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on February 1, 2021, announcing the easing of some novel coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions. Ramaphosa said that the peak of the country's second wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths had passed, leading to a reduction in hospital admissions. The country's curfew will now run from 11pm to 4am, and alcohol sales will be allowed, with some limitations. Faith-based gatherings will be permitted, and beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools will be reopened, subject to health restrictions. Just hours before his address, the president and various cabinet ministers gathered at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for the arrival of one million doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India on behalf of AstraZeneca. 

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, right, and his deputy David Mabuza with the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on February 1, 2021.


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