Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says South Africans have to adapt and learn to co-exist with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

While addressing a social cluster briefing, Mkhize said normal activities like public transport, work and school have to be managed by everyone.

In the video below is the media briefing on COVID-19 by the Social Cluster

He says the surge in coronavirus infections would be even worse if the lockdown regulations were not tightened again – including the renewed ban on alcohol sales announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We need to open up the schools because we need to understand for us to coexist with the virus and know how to behave where there is a viral infection. The distancing has been the major factor in fighting this infection right across the world. It’s important for us to prioritise everything whether its work pace, transport or schools we have to shift and change the way we behave.”

Below is a provincial breakdown of COVID-19 cases in SA:

 

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Mkhize says projections show that the country could alleviate the pressure on hospitals by stopping thousands of alcohol-related trauma cases in only the first week of the alcohol ban.

“Now we are very concerned about the fact that the consumption of alcohol in the country is pretty high and it’s estimated that is 31% and of all, we are really saying is that we plead for understanding and patience as we try to navigate through a difficult time in the country.”

“This is one of the issues that we think at the end of the day it would be inexcusable to actually end up with beds blocked by something that’s completely preventable and avoidable, the consumption of alcohol, and end up with lives of people with a difficult viral infection being compromised.”