Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize Picture: GCIS
Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize Picture: GCIS

Mkhize warns SA is approaching heavy storm in fight against Covid-19

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned that even with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the country is approaching a heavy storm in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Mkhize said it was now important that citizens balance the behavioural changes to decrease the spread of the virus.

The minister was speaking on Thursday following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that more industries would be allowed to operate under level 3 of the lockdown. These industries include salons and restaurants.

Mkhize said he has always warned that a storm was approaching in the country as coronavirus cases were expected to rise. He reiterated that the decisions to ease restrictions were the results of balancing saving the economy and lives. He said behavioural change was now key to decreasing the spread of the virus.

"Several weeks ago, we warned of a heavy storm. We are driving right into the storm. The impact of the pandemic is going to be a challenge. It will be important that we deal with the changes that have to be done in our lives. We cannot have the whole country go on a restriction while people go hungry.

"We have to balance the livelihoods and saving lives. So, we are now saying there is a new way of behaviour that needs to co-exist with the virus. Reduce the spread of infections while saving the economy. It also means we have to balance the behavioural change. Now people need to understand that our lives depend on it," Mkhize said.

The minister said before the lockdown cases were doubling every two days and now cases were doubling every 12 days and, in some areas, every 9 days.

As of Wednesday, the country’s coronavirus infections stood at 40 78 with 16 74 deaths. There are 44 331 recoveries. 

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* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za 


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