The South African government has eased the stringent Covid-19 lockdown regulations, allowing children to be moved more easily between custodial parents.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Thursday told reporters in Pretoria that the movement of children should not expose the minors to coronavirus.
“It is a plea to parents … they need to appreciate the challenge faced by the country. They also need to be really sensitive to the fact that the movement of children might end giving us trouble. But because we believe in parents, we believe that parents have their children at heart, we believe they will take all precautionary measures and ensure that all the necessary directives given about washing of hands and not hanging around with those children – it is only from point A to point B,” said Zulu.
“This is not about stopping and visiting other people. It should not make life difficult for the police who have to enforce the process of movement. I do have confidence that the parents will appreciate this and make sure that they themselves as parents are safe, but also the children must be safe.”
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the easing of some of the regulations but emphasized that the ongoing lockdown will not be abruptly lifted.
“Industries will slowly have to come onto the stream. Do not think we are changing the regulations, it is an orderly way of easing the lockdown. For now, the lockdown will end on the 30th of April, but even if its ends on the 30th of April, we cannot just say the lockdown has ended on this specific day and we open the floodgates. There has to be an orderly way. Expect that every week, new things will be coming onto the stream,” Dlamini-Zuma addressed reporters in Pretoria.
“Some [restrictions] will remain in place for a very long time.”
South Africa remains the most affected country in Africa by the pandemic, with 2,506 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The fatalities in the country have also risen to 34, according to statistics released by the national department of health.
“We have been learning about this disease. We have now learnt that if the goods have been at sea for many days, the virus will not survive. So there is no need at the ports for the goods that have been at sea for a long time to be sanitized because the virus would have died,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
South Africa is going through a stringent national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown is accompanied by a string of regulations that limit the movement of citizens, who are expected to stay at home unless they are shopping for food, seeking medical help or supplies, banking, buying petrol, collecting social grants, or performing essential services.