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South Africa removes curfew order as Govt-19 peaks fourth wave

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 30 (Reuters) – South Africa has lifted a curfew on people’s movement from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

The country has made changes based on the path of the epidemic, the vaccine levels in the country and the availability in the health sector, Presidential Minister Montley Kungupele said in a statement.

South Africa is currently at the lowest of its five-level COVID-19 warning levels.

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“All indicators are that the country may have crossed the peak of the fourth wave nationally,” a report from a special cabinet meeting earlier on Thursday said.

Dec. Data from the Department of Health shows that the number of new cases detected in the week ending the 25th has dropped to 127,753 compared to the number of cases detected in the previous week.

South Africa, with 3.5 million epidemics and 91,000 deaths, is the worst affected country in Africa during both epidemics.

The government said it would ban meetings of more than 1,000 people inside the home and no more than 2,000 people outside, except to lift restrictions on public transportation.

It also ruled that liquor stores licensed to operate after 11pm (2100GMT) may return to full licensing conditions, a welcome boon for merchants and businesses that have been severely affected by the epidemic.

“Although the Omigran variant is highly contagious, hospital admissions rates are lower than previous waves,” the cabinet said, adding that wearing masks in public places is mandatory. Failure to wear a mask when required in South Africa would be a criminal offense.

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Report by Wendell Roelf; Editing: Chris Reese, Don Grepler and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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