South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday notified the citizens that the South African government will be relaxing the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions this week, as further multiple lockdown restrictions will be rolled out in August.
The announcement comes after Cabinet member recently hinted that they have ‘good news’ concerning lockdown restrictions, although the nature of the relaxed restrictions level to follow is not yet known by the citizens, as they wait for the relaxed restrictions to be officially declared by the President this weekend, upon the expiry of the current lockdown restrictions on Saturday.
One of the lockdown restrictions likely to be lifted is the ban on alcohol. The ban of alcohol is said to have heavily impacted the beverage industry.
The motivation behind the relaxation of restrictions is, the need to save the economy of south Africa from collapsing, taking into consideration that during this current level 3 lockdown a number of companies were obliged to temporarily shutdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The plan to ease lockdown restrictions is largely informed by the decrease in the number of people who are testing positive for COVID-19.
“As infections are coming down, we’re all still very cautious but it is good news that we have now seen just 2 500 people who are testing positive in a day. When we start loosening up our lockdown restrictions, the resurgence could be more devastating. This is why we must be careful,” said Mkhize
The health minister further noted that South Africa cannot continue to be in the same lockdown level for a prolonged time considering that the pandemic is being well managed by medical practitioners.
“We moved to Level 3 when numbers were going up, that’s not happening right now. This is the time for the National Coronavirus Command Council NCCC to ease restrictions and this will continue over the next few weeks. But any changes must consider the impact on public health, even though the surge has been well-managed by our medical practitioners,” added Mkhize
“We cannot be in lockdown forever, at some point we have to open up. But we had to strike a balance. What’s on the table for the NCCC now is the different suggestions and proposals for what needs to be eased. However, we don’t have a certain number [of daily infections] in mind before lifting lockdown.” Highlighted Mkhize.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent