South Africa may soon move to Level 1 lockdown, revealed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. The country’s declining infections is a promising sign that suggests the worst is over.
In an interview with Radio Islam on Wednesday morning [September 9] about the current status of the pandemic in the country, Mkhize said the country is over the COVID-19 surge thanks to the various measures that have been put in place.
“We can safely say we are over the surge. June, July and August were the worst months, as predicted by our models. However, we found that not as many people as the model suggested would be affected,” he said.
“A major factor is that we embarked on containment measures, and there may well be other factors in the environment here. We are very grateful for the support we got from South Africans to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”
While there is no certain date for the country to shift down to Level 1 lockdown, Mkhize did say that President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make a decision soon.
“It’s too early to say. We are still discussing all the issues. The president will give us a sense of direction, but we will be preparing to start easing to the next level,” he said.
“We were quite worried but didn’t have an increase in the number of cases when we moved from level 3 to level 2, which has really been good news because we do want to get back to normal activities so we will have to move to level 1. We hope we can still contain the numbers. The past weeks have been very encouraging with no upsurge.”
Mkhize says that there will still be regulations around public gatherings under Level 1, but the ease in restrictions will allow for greater economic activity.
“We need to get our economy back to its normal footing, we need to get people jobs, we need to get people to earn incomes. Everyone must be able to survive on their own without needing further assistance from government,” he said.
He urges people to continue following protocols, practicing social distancing and following health measures to avoid a second wave of infections as the possibility always remains.
“We are not out of the woods. We must always be careful because infections may rise again in the same way this is happening in Spain, America, Iran and Korea.”
The country currently has 640 441 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, the total number of deaths is 15 086 and the total number of recoveries is 567 729.
Picture: Twitter / Zweli Mkhize