Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize says consultations by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) are ongoing regarding adjustments to the current lockdown regulations.
Expectations are high that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation this weekend as the National State of Disaster expires at midnight.
There is also some anticipation that the President might move the country to level two of the lockdown as infections slow. Mkhize says no decision has yet been taken and the President will only make an announcement once consultations are concluded.
“We are discussing it with the NCCC. The coronavirus council will give us a guide on that and I’m sure when the President speaks, whenever he does to give us guidance, that question will be well answered. Right now a lot of consultations are going on certainly with the numbers that are moving there are certain adjustments that we need to look at no decision has been made yet about level 2.”
Lifting of lockdown
Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen says it is time for South Africans to go back to work and start rebuilding the economy.
Steenhuisen says enough is enough.”There is general agreement that a second wave is unlikely but not impossible. Either way, we cannot hide from this virus forever while our lives and livelihoods fall apart. We need to learn to live with it, since it will still be with us for many months, perhaps even years, to come.”
“While we should all continue to wear our masks and adhere to safety protocols, we need to pick up the pieces and start to rebuild our shattered economy, which has lost over a trillion rand and three million jobs to this long, irrational, secretive, brutal hard lockdown,” explains Steenhuisen.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) agrees with the DA, while the Congress of the People (Cope) says it will be a serious mistake if government does not extend the national state of disaster. Cope’s Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says the worst of COVID-19 is far from over………
“It will be a very serious mistake not to extend the state of disaster, But moving forward, we will call upon President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National (Coronavirus) Command Council, not to sent out confusing messages. They must speak with one voice. The country is approaching a very serious face of COVID-19 and President Cyril Ramaphosa must show firm leadership in the fight against coronavirus. Cope will support the further extension of the state of disaster,” Bloem says.
The Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says while he expects an extension of the declaration of national disaster, he remains concerned about the unending powers of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs – to extend the state of disaster indefinitely on a month-to-month basis without parliamentary oversight.
The Economic Freedom Fighters rejects any moves to further ease the lockdown.
COVID-19 related deaths
South Africa has recorded 286 new COVID-19 related deaths bringing the death toll to 11 556. This while the number of infections has increased by 6 275 in the last 24-hour cycle bringing the cumulative number of infections to 579 140.
Below are the SA’s latest COVID-19 statistics:
Of the almost 300 new COVID-19 related deaths, Gauteng’s recorded the highest number of fatalities in a 24-hour cycle at 76 followed by KwaZulu-Natal 54, Eastern Cape 42, the Western Cape 28, North West 26, Mpumalanga 22, the Free State 20 and the Northern Cape 18.
Meanwhile, of the over 35 000 new tests conducted, over 6 000 were positive. Experts have confirmed a slight decline in new cases but warn South Africans not to become complacent to avoid a second wave.
This while number of recoveries in the country stands at over 461 000 translating to 79%. –