SA Covid-19 hotspots to remain in level 4 for now

Published May 13, 2020


CAPE TOWN- President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South African Covid-19 hotspots with high local transmissions and infection rates could remain in lockdown level 4, while provinces with low infection rates will transition into level 3 with eased restrictions by the end of May.

Ramaphosa said that consultations will be held this week to determine which provinces will remain in level 4 and which will transition into level 3.

By the end of May, the President said that most of the country will be placed on alert level 3, however that remains to be confirmed based on the rate of infection in the area and the state of readiness and the capacity of its health facilities to cope with treating infected people.

“For now, infections are mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country,” said the President.

The country has been under lockdown for close to seven weeks since it started on 26 March 2020.

“The lockdown that we’ve imposed was absolutely necessary. The infection rate would have soared and our healthcare system would have been overwhelmed. The purpose of the lockdown was to delay the spread of the virus,” he said.

Lockdown level 3 will see a further easing of the lockdown restrictions and a gradual reopening of the economy.

Earlier today Ramaphosa chaired a sitting with members of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) which is the co-ordinating structure of the cabinet tasked with managing the Covid-19 crisis.

If the lockdown wasn’t implemented, experts say that 80,000 South Africans could have been infected by now and the death toll could have been at least eight times higher than what it stands at the moment.

Ramaphosa said that the percentage of positive cases identified out of all the tests conducted or the positivity rate has remained rather low and stable.

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