South Africa: Level 2 Lockdown on the Cards for South Africa?

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefs the media on government's plans to combat the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, July 13, 2020.
12 August 2020

Cape Town — A tweet posted by SABC News presenter Leanne Manas has shown Health Minister Zweli Mkhize discussing the possibility of easing restrictions on the country's nationwide lockdown to Alert Level 2. According to government directives, Alert Level 2 indicates "a moderate Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness".

When Manas asked Mkhize if Alert Level 2 was about to be announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mkhize said: "We are preparing submissions, we'll need to make certain recommendations on easing some restrictions, and the Coronavirus Command Council has to take a lot of issues into account." Mkhize explained that based on the outcomes of those analyses, Ramaphosa would then determine whether the country is prepared for Alert Level 2.

South Africa has been at different lockdown levels for five months in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus - and became the African country with the most cases, and also the country with 5th biggest virus caseload in the world.

The health minister went on to say that Ramaphosa wants to have as thorough an analysis based on scientific input and economic consideration as possible, before a decision is taken.

Mkhize also emphasised the importance of using personal protection equipment (PPE). "I would say if we really want to see things changing and restrictions being eased off, we really must focus on masks, use hand sanitiser, and wash our hands. If we do so, I think we will get good news," Mkhize said.

He told Manas' that the country's State of Disaster, which is due to end this week, would possibly be extended. "From where we sit, from health science, we still recommend that we continue the State of Disaster. We'll see what decisions are made but we feel it's too early for that."

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