South Africa abolishes almost all measures

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South Africa survived the fourth wave. The government is relaxing almost all measures © Lyu Tianran / picture alliance

In view of a fourth wave of infections that has now subsided, South Africa has abolished most of its corona measures.

Johannesburg – Schools are returning to normal classes without the previous distance rule. In addition, according to the government decision made late Monday evening, people who have tested positive and have no symptoms will no longer have to be in quarantine in the future. For those with symptoms, the length of isolation has been reduced from ten days to seven days. According to these new decisions, anyone who has come close to infected people only has to go into quarantine if symptoms appear. However, the mask requirement and general hygiene rules continue to apply.

The easing was justified with studies according to which around 70 percent of the population in South Africa had already been infected. On Monday, only 1,366 new infections were reported in the Cape State with its almost 60 million inhabitants. Initial findings also indicated a rather mild course of the disease in the Omicron variant of the coronavirus compared to the Delta variant. South Africa is now at the lowest tier of a five digit alert system. Demands for its complete abolition have increased in recent weeks.

With more than 3.6 million registered infections and a good 95,000 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic, South Africa is the country most severely affected by the corona pandemic on the African continent.

The economy of the Cape State has also been hit hard: the unemployment rate was officially 34.9 percent at the end of last year. If you include those who have given up looking for a job, it even rises to 44.6 percent.

The travel restrictions in many countries, which have now been largely lifted, particularly affect the important tourism sector, which contributes almost ten percent to South Africa’s gross domestic product and secures hundreds of thousands of jobs. (dpa)

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