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President’s speech – the highlights

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National state of disaster extended

* We have begun to forget that the virus is still present all around us.

* The world has just recorded its highest number of weekly new cases since the start of the pandemic and the highest number of weekly deaths.

* For more than two months now, the number of new infections has remained relatively stable at below 2 000 a day. The number of deaths has been declining steadily, as has the number of people requiring hospitalisation.

* To date, South Africa has recorded 742 394 coronavirus cases. Of these people, over 92% have recovered.

* Confirmed deaths of 20 011 people.

* The Eastern Cape is showing signs of a resurgence. In the last week, the number of new cases in the province was 50% higher than the week before.

* We will be working closely with the provincial government, municipalities and other institutions in the Eastern Cape in the coming days and weeks to ensure that this surge is contained and managed.

* The areas where we are experiencing higher than average rates of new infections Frances Baard and Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape.

* We are, as required by the Disaster Management Act, extending the National State of Disaster by another month to the 15th of December 2020.

* A number of outbreaks have been linked to indoor gatherings where there is poor ventilation and no social distancing.

* We should avoid large gatherings. We should rather meet in small groups.

* The same rules that applied in the early days of the lockdown should apply now.

* An effective and safe vaccine is our greatest defence against COVID-19, and there are now several candidate vaccines in development across the world.

* As the economy starts to recover, many of the measures in the relief package are steadily being wound down.

* We extended the Special COVID-19 Grant for a further three months, until January 2021.

* We are amending the alert level 1 regulations to restore the normal trading hours for the sale of alcohol at retail outlets.

* We are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate.

* Cabinet has decided that from the 25th to 29th of November, the nation should embark on five days of mourning for the victims of COVID-19. We will let the national flag fly at half-mast throughout the country from 6am to 6pm from Wednesday 25 November to Sunday 29 November.

* We call upon all South Africans to wear a black armband or other signs of mourning to signify our respect for those who have departed.