JOHANNESBURG — South Africa and Zimbabwe have re-imposed restrictions to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Starting January with record new confirmed cases and deaths, South Africa last week banned all sales of liquor, closed restaurants, banned public gatherings, closed most public beaches and imposed a nighttime curfew. The country of 60 million surpassed a total of more than 30,000 confirmed deaths, according to official figures Tuesday. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to call an emergency meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council this week.
South Africa does not yet have any vaccines. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has said the government plans to inoculate 67% of the population, with hospital workers and vulnerable vaccinated first. That’s expected to start in April, when the country receives vaccines from the COVAX facility.
Compared to the United States, the number of daily cases is low in South Africa. However, the cases have doubled in the last two weeks. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose from 14 per 100,000 people on Dec. 20 to 23 on Sunday.