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SA could be hit with more lockdown restrictions as COVID-19 cases spike

On Wednesday, the country breached the 10 000 mark for new COVID-19 cases which has led to deliberations regarding further lockdown restrictions.

While Wednesday marked a public holiday in the republic, it was also a dark day in relation to COVID-19 cases. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, in a late night statement, said that the country breached 10 000 new cases which has warranted engagements for further lockdown restrictions. 

 

This comes just days after a family meeting was held with President Cyril Ramaphosa, whereby, a number of new restrictions were communicated. That may have just been the beginning of a festive season unlike any other. 

GOVERNMENT TO ENGAGE ON WHETHER FURTHER LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED  

Not only has South Africa breached the 10 000 mark for new COVID-19 cases but according to Mkhize, our daily cases are growing “exponentially”. Our positivity rate is also sitting at 21% and this far exceeds the ideal positivity rate of 10%.

Based on significant increases in COVID-19 cases, Mkhize said government continues to assess the entire country and where they identify risks, they will engage. 

We will engage and make a determination if further containment measures or restrictions are required

Mkhize

According to Mkhize, the Western Cape continues to lead the second wave and has now breached the 3000 mark for the first time this week. 

Seven other provinces reported increases on Wednesday while the Eastern Cape reported a decrease in their new cases. The details are as follows:

  • Increase in WC (from 2 785 on Tuesday to 3 233 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in KZN (from 1 152 on Tuesday to 2 743 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in GP (from 1 278 on Tuesday to 1 795 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in NW (from 152 on Tuesday to 182 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in LP (from 59 on Tuesday to 154 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in MP (from 67 on Tuesday to 146 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in FS (from 67 on Tuesday to 88 on Wednesday)
  • Increase in NC (from 36 on Tuesday to 56 on Wednesday)
  • Decrease in EC (from 1956 on Tuesday to 1 619 on Wednesday)

‘WE STAND BY RECOMMENDATIONS MADE TO THE NCCC’ – MKHIZE 

While Mkhize commended those South Africans who heeded government’s call and complied with lockdown restrictions by not going to the beaches, he also noted the various legal challenges that were brought against government regarding the latest lockdown restrictions. 

As Health, we stand by the recommendations made to the NCCC which are well substantiated by evidence. We have every intention to oppose these applications as the Department, and Government’s mandate to protect the lives and health of our people remains paramount

Mkhize

“We dare not neglect this responsibility by omitting to take the necessary actions to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed and collapsing, as we’ve seen in other countries,” he added. 

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