South African authorities have lived up to their pledge to crack down on violators of stricter coronavirus restrictions by arresting at least 50 people in the past two days for allegedly violating health protocol in the commercial capital Johannesburg, APA has learnt.City authorities have set up roadblocks and mounted patrols near entertainment centres to monitor compliance with public health requirements imposed as part of restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, including the public wearing of masks.
“Starting on Wednesday, with Johannesburg being a hotspot, the mayor took a decision that we will implement a zero-tolerance approach to reinforcing the coronavirus restrictions,” Johannesburg City spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said on Thursday.
Ndamase said the city was targeting violators who deliberately ignored the restrictions under the new lockdown regulations as announced on Monday by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Those arrested face fines or prosecution — or both, depending on the offences committed.
Apart from the mandatory public mask wearing, the curfew has been extended by additional three hours, alcohol sales have been banned until mid-January, and all beaches have been shut down till further notice in efforts to stop the pandemic spreading further.
South Africa on Wednesday recorded a highest day rate so far of 17,710 new cases – bringing the country’s cumulative total of Covid-19 cases to 1,039,161 and over 27,000 lives lost to the disease since March, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.