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COVID-19: ‘Worst’ still to come – SA president

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the country’s coronavirus outbreak is going to get much worse.

Mr. Ramaphosa issued the warning on Sunday evening as he announced a gradual easing of lockdown measures across the country.

The president said a third of South Africa’s over 22,000 Covid-19 cases had been recorded in the last week alone.

Despite that, he said the current lockdown could not be sustained indefinitely.

From Monday, June 1, more restrictions would be lifted, he announced.

 Mr. Ramaphosa, who has been under pressure to ease lockdown measures to restart the economy, was speaking at a Covid-19 briefing, hours after a mining company in the country said  some 164 workers at a gold mine near Johannesburg had tested positive for the disease.

So far, about 429 deaths have been recorded across South Africa.

Announcing the easing of measures, President Ramaphosa said an overnight curfew, which has been in place for a few weeks, will no longer be enforced. More businesses will be allowed to open and schools will re-start, the president said.

A controversial ban on alcohol will also end with limited sales allowed for home consumption only. However, a ban on the sale of cigarettes will remain in place.

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