Coronavirus in South Africa: a first clarification in the pandemic

A caregiver performs a Covid test in Alexandra (South Africa), March 31, 2020. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko / File Photo

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3 min

South Africa remains the epicenter of the pandemic on the continent with more than 640,000 contaminations identified.

The virus has already caused the death of more than 15,000 people according to official figures.

But the situation seems to be improving in recent weeks.


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg


Claire Bargelès

The authorities are still cautious, but there, life is gradually resuming its course.

It looks like most of the storm has passed.

In any case, that is what the South African government believes.

At the height of the epidemic, in July, the country recorded nearly 13,000 new cases per day, while in the past 24 hours, less than 2,000 new infections have been detected.

The authorities also welcome a drop in admissions to hospitals and testing centers.

Lifting of certain restrictions

Thanks to these encouraging figures, South Africans can now enjoy new freedoms.

The government has extended the state of natural disaster and some of the containment is still in place, but

the restrictions are much less stringent than before


The country is now on level 2 health alert on a scale of 5. The sale of alcohol and cigarettes has resumed, restaurants and bars have been able to reopen, as well as places of worship with a limit of 50 people.

Finally, the Professional Football League was able to end its season without spectators.

However, international borders are still closed, and a curfew is still in effect from 10 p.m.

South Africans seem to have rather adapted to this new post-Covid life, easily complying with wearing a mask.

And President Cyril Ramaphosa has suggested that perhaps new measures could be lifted from next week.

An economic and social crisis

Nevertheless, the country must now face the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic.

South Africa was hit very hard with a first indicator:

growth contracted by 51%


This is very bad news for jobs, as 30% of the population was already unemployed before the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The economic recovery plan is therefore the new fight for Cyril Ramaphosa, who will nevertheless have to keep an eye on the contaminations curve to avoid a second wave.


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  • South Africa

  • Coronavirus

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