Johannesburg - Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the end of the drastic Level 5 lockdown next Thursday night, should not be seen as the end of South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Next Friday, May 1, South Africa will ease into a Level 4 lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier this week.
Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa did not want a repeat of the 300 000 lives it lost in 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic.
“Level 4 lockdown is still a lockdown,” the minister warned.
“If we do not stick to the public health conditions and the virus starts speeding up, the government will have no option but to move back swiftly to Level 5. If we stick to all the things that need to be done, we can hold on to Level 4 and eventually Level 3,” said the minister.
Saturday marks Day 30 of the Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown, and since March, South Africa has now lost 79 lives to the virus and 4 220 people have been infected. The Western Cape this week became the epicenter of the virus, with the most deaths at 30, and the most cases, at over 1400.
Dlamini-Zuma said when Level 4 lockdown is implemented next Friday, the entire country will be on that level. At a later stage, she said, it was possible that other provinces could be on different lockdown levels.
She said if numbers began to decline or stabilise, the National Coronavirus Command Council could lower the lockdown to Level 3.
“It's all in our hands South Africans, we must make that choice ourselves,” she said.
Inter-provincial travel is still not allowed, but people traveling to funerals, returning to work or school, will be allowed to travel.
“Either than that, you still remain where you are,” said NDZ