Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided clarity on South Africa’s planned move to level 3 lockdown on 1 June.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday (24 May), that the whole of the country will move to level 3 lockdown from next week. The president said that this will include the reopening of all districts, as well as key areas of the economy.
However, in a National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday (26 May) Mkhize indicated that some coronavirus hotspots may remain at level 4 based on the number of coronavirus cases reported.
The below slide from Mkhize’s presentation highlights the confusion.
Mkhize’s has since clarified that this was an ‘old slide’ and was inadvertently included in the presentation.
He added that the slide was previously included by the Department of Health prior to a final decision being taken by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).
“We confirm that the whole country will move to alert level 3 from 1 June 2020. Further to that, government has taken measures to identify areas that have been defined as epidemiological hotspots.
“As clearly explained by the president in his speech, there are areas that have more than 5 infected people per 100,000 population or areas where infections are increasing at a fast pace.”
Media Statement: Clarity has been sought on the presentation made by the Minister of Health to the NCOP yesterday regarding the determination of alert levels for hotspots. pic.twitter.com/fw1hdOdX0a
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 27, 2020
Mkhize said that as the whole country moves to level 3, there will be a constant assessment of each and every area and its rate of infection.
If the spread of the infection is not contained, despite interventions, then government will make a determination whether to return a specific area to level 4 or 5 lockdown, he said.