President Cyril Ramaphosa Reimposed Ban on Alcohol Sales as Coronavirus Cases Spike in South Africa
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has reimposed a ban on alcohol sales and ordered the closure of all bars as part of new restrictions to help the country battle a resurgence of the coronavirus, including a new variant.
In a nationwide address Monday night, Ramaphosa also announced an extension of its nighttime curfew so all residents must be at home from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.
The president said that wearing masks is mandatory and that anyone found not wearing a mask in a public place will be subject to a fine or a criminal charge punishable by a possible jail sentence.
Ramaphosa said the increased restrictions are necessary because of a surge in COVID-19 infections which has pushed South Africa's cumulative virus cases above one million.
Ramaphosa announced the new measures after a Cabinet meeting and an emergency meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council.
The country surpassed the one million mark on Sunday night when it reported 1,004,413 cumulative cases of COVID-19, including 26,735 deaths.
South Africa is battling a variant of COVID-19 that is more infectious and has become dominant in many parts of the country, according to experts.
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