KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: KZN GCIS
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: KZN GCIS

KZN gets ready to move down to Level 3

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published May 17, 2020

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala is confident that the province is ready to downgrade to Level 3 of the national lockdown. 

Speaking during a media briefing on Sunday, Zikalala said the number of recoveries in KZN stand at 806 and this renewed hope that Covid-19 can be beaten. 

"While we continue to see an incline in terms of positive cases, it is comforting that the number of recoveries is rising. We are working extremely hard to decrease the number of active cases," he said. 

He noted that on Saturday, there were 17 new cases recorded.

"The province is currently sitting at 10% in terms of active cases. We now have the fourth highest number of confirmed cases countrywide. While the majority of the new cases are still coming from eThekwini, ILembe district is starting to have more cases per 100 000 infected people if you consider its population size."

"A trend we are worried about and working to stop. While areas that were affected more initially were urban we now note an increase in townships and still less of the increase in the rural areas. We need to work more curb the spread in EThekwini, Ilembe and Umgungundlovu as these are to be closely monitored. eThekwini has 866 of the province’s positive cases, followed by Ilembe at 326, and Umgungundlovu at 64," he said. 

Zikalala said in just a few short months, KZN has implemented a successful mass screening and testing programme that has yielded the following results:

• More than 2.4 million people have been screened for Covid-19

• More than 59 000 people have been tested

• 1 498 confirmed positive, and

• 806 recoveries

"Sadly, we have lost 45 people as a province, with our bed occupancy in ICU sitting at 1,1% of the available ICU beds. The numbers of recoveries is increasing and we are pleased to see this trend. We have managed to prepare more than 6400 beds for isolation, quarantine, High care and ICU throughout the province, with each and every district well-represented in this regard," he said. 

He said KZN was preparing for Level 3 lockdown as per the instruction of President Cyril Ramaphosa, which is set to come into effect at the end of the month. 

This means more business sectors will open, use of public transport to increase therefore it requires a vigilant, focussed and accountability by all.

"There are strong indications that as KwaZulu-Natal all our regions may move to level 3. However there is a caveat, in order for that to happen and remain that way, everyone will have to comply with the all the non-pharmaceutical approaches to preventing infections," he said. 

He added that there will be continued monitoring of all identified hotspot areas. 

"This week we will inspect readiness by all sectors to move to Level 3. We will need to manage the hotspots together and the whole of government, civil society, business approach in this Province is through Sukuma Sakhe which we have integrated into the District Development Model."

"At level 3 hotspots will be in a particular area; particular ward; local municipality and districts. The war rooms, Task teams working will have to drive the behaviour change of communities, contact tracing, screening and testing will have to be focused but also hold each other accountable and oversight on whether everyone is adhering to the new normal," he said. 


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