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COVID-19 latest: Mkhize tells SA to ‘prepare for tougher lockdown restrictions’

We are far from being 'merry' this Christmas. Zweli Mkhize has revealed that more 'lockdown measures' will be considered to fight the spread of COVID-19.

A tougher lockdown is coming: More than 14 000 new COVID-19 infections were recorded in South Africa on Wednesday 23 December, matching the peak seen during the first wave. Things are set to get worse for Mzansi, as a new strain of the virus rips through the country – and, to the amazement of many – parts of the UK are also affected by this variant.

MKHIZE’S ADVICE FOR SOUTH AFRICANS

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the current lockdown laws in South Africa will now ‘have to be reviewed’, revealing that ‘further measures’ are set to be considered soon. He then set down three golden rules for SA citizens:

  • Avoid large gatherings and congested environments.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation is available in places where people gather.
  • Vigilantly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitising.

LATEST COVID-19 FIGURES FOR SOUTH AFRICA SUGGESTS ‘TOUGHER LOCKDOWN’ NOW NEEDED

Sadly, the death toll continues to rise at an alarming rate. A total of 411 people succumbed to COVID-19 on Wednesday – with 171 of those dying in the Western Cape. There were 101 fatalities in the Eastern Cape, and 90 in KZN.

These glum figures have forced Zweli Mkhize into a corner. The minister is now confident that the second wave will be much more devastating than the first, as South Africa skyrockets towards its one-millionth coronavirus case. This all means that tougher lockdown restrictions will return – and it is now a question of ‘when, not if…’

READ: ZWELI MKHIZE ON TOUGHER LOCKDOWN MEASURES

“Today we report that 14 046 COVID-19 cases have been identified since the last report at a positivity rate of 26%. Therefore, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases today is 954 258. This indicates that the virus continues to spread exponentially – the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave. We’ll surpass the first wave peak in the coming days.”

“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread. Therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate the situation in these provinces, identify hotspots in these areas (and in other provinces) before making recommendations based on these findings.”

“We can’t stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we look for a reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage. We urge all South Africans to adhere to the regulations and recommendations pertaining to the National State of Disaster.”

Zweli Mkhize

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