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LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS UP FOR REVIEW AGAIN AS SA RECORDS OVER 21K NEW COVID CASES

In an interview with the SABC yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the government was concerned about the intensity of the second wave.

CAPE TOWN – Representatives from the provinces are expected to meet on Sunday to discuss the growing number of COVID infections and the response to the progress of the pandemic.

South Africa has had more than 21,000 new cases of COVID confirmed in the past 24 hours and 399 new deaths due to the virus.

In an interview with the SABC yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged government was concerned about the intensity of the second wave.

“The National Coronavirus Council has met and we are now going to meet with our provinces and after that, Cabinet will also look at some of the recommendations and it is then that we’ll be able to make a determination and announce it to the nation.”

As the Command Council and Cabinet review lockdown restrictions, The South African Medical Association (Sama) is, however, arguing against a move to a higher lockdown level.

Sama’s Dr Angelique Coetzee, said, “The only thing you can add to add to lockdown level 3 is to say between 10 and 20 people is the most that can gather together, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Also, it doesn’t help to go onto lockdown level 5, but you can’t even make sure that the restrictions you put into lockdown level 3 aren’t being adhered to.”

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal, COVID infections are still rising alarmingly. KZN currently has just under 90,000 active cases, which is by far the most in the country.

The Western Cape’s modelling had predicted the peak of the second wave towards the end of this week and the province’s head of health, Dr Keith Cloete, on Saturday said there were early indications that numbers were stabilising.

But as the Western Cape deals with the second wave, he warned against complacency, saying a third wave might not be far behind.

“There are two things that have become evident this week, firstly, that there is the introduction of a new vaccine – that will play a role. But it is also clear from international experience that there are risks of a third wave and we should be mindful and be preparing for that.”

EWN

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