Hopes Ramaphosa will ease lockdown measures on Sunday
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President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to address the nation on Sunday, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni said on Friday.
Aside from briefing the nation on government interventions to rebuild the economy following the recent looting and rioting, with the Covid-19 infection rate showing a downward trend this week, there is hope that some of the stricter adjusted level 4 lockdown measures will be lifted.
It’s nearly two weeks ago that Ramaphosa announced stricter lockdown measures for a further two weeks to help curb the spread of coronavirus infections, driven by the Delta variant. He had promised to review the regulations, including the ban on the sale of alcohol and attendance at religious services.
“As of next week, we plan to commence with economic intervention package briefings with the economic cluster ministers. This will happen after the president has addressed the nation this Sunday,” Ntshaveni said.
Acting Minister Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane acknowledged that there was a significant drop in infections, saying: “The Covid-19 infection cases continue to fluctuate in waves and each wave leaves behind bereaved families and lost loved ones.
’’Each day that this pandemic continues to spread and infect more people, it robs our country of its greatest resource and that is its productive people.
“In the last 24 hours, there were 14 858 new cases, which is a decrease from that of the day before at 16 240 new cases. The number of new cases have been on a downward trend.’’
On Friday, the number of new cases dropped to 13 719, with a further 450 Covid-19-related deaths.
Kubayi-Ngubane said the riots have added to the complexity of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in KwaZulu-Natal as a whole.
“At the height of the unrest, there were disruptions in all areas of the health service delivery system.
“There was a decrease in the number of vaccinations due to the closure of vaccination sites. There was loss of vaccines due to looting.
’’An estimated 120 private pharmacies were destroyed, which led to a loss of approximately 47 500 vaccine doses and lots of damage to infrastructure.’’