As South Africans await the President’s address tonight regarding the nationwide lockdown, Reuters news agency is reporting on a draft document showing that flexible restrictions on economic activity could be on the cards.
The current lockdown is due to end on April 30.
According to the document, an “alert system” comprising five levels would identify which sectors are allowed to operate under different risk scenarios.
The draft presentation, which was put together by the presidency and health ministry warns of the serious risks associated with lifting lockdown restrictions too soon.
The document states that sit-in restaurants, hotels, bars, cinemas, sporting events, and religious gatherings could remain prohibited after the lockdown ends.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko confirmed the document was authentic but said it did not represent the government’s final plan, as there have been various interations and consultations since this version.
WHO hails SA
On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) applauded South Africa’s efforts to curb the number of coronavirus infections in the country at their daily briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Mike Ryan says the government’s implementation of an early lockdown has contributed to slowing down the spread of the virus.
Ryan says, “It is interesting in the way in which South Africa is bringing the diseases under control and how Africans in many ways and in some way are showing the way. This strategy in SA was based on the preparation of primary prevention lockdown.”
SA’s coronavirus cases
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen to 3 635. The Health Department says the total number of tests conducted to date is 133 774, of which 6 868 were done in the last 24 hours.
Government says they regrettably report seven more COVID-19-related deaths. This increases the total to 65.
Five of them occurred in the Western Cape and two in KwaZulu-Natal.
The government has expressed condolences to the affected families and appreciated the health workers who treated the patients.
The provincial breakdown is as follows: Gauteng 1224, Western Cape 1079, KwaZulu-Natal 758, Eastern Cape 377, Free State 106, Limpopo 27, North West 24, Mpumalanga 23, Northern Cape 16, with 1 unallocated case.