- The Presidency has shut down rumours of a lockdown in SA, dismissing it as fake news
- However, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says that the military may soon be playing a role in the fight against the coronavirus
- With the number of confirmed cases rising, the situation in the country remains uncertain
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The Presidency was quick to dismiss speculation over a lockdown in South Africa as 'fake news'.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko claimed that rumours of a shutdown were just that, rumours.
However, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has been transparent in the fight against the coronavirus with his stance on the crisis far from sugar-coated.
Mkhize explained that the South African National Defense Force could be brought in to help:
“Right now it is restrictions. [We] might have to begin to bring in the army to go out and work around the people, talk to them about hygiene, getting them to go sanitise, and so on, As we sit and look at the epidemiological spread of the infection, we would begin to isolate areas where it is worse.”
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Sunday Times reports that a possible national state of emergency 'could be introduced as a last resort' if plans to limit the spread of Covid-19 fail.
Briefly.co.za reported that the government implemented a number of regulations after the declaration of a national disaster by Ramaphosa.
This included laws on social distancing, recreational activities, liquor consumption and the spread of fake news.
Mkhize explained that the current goal is to avoid a repeat of the situations facing countries like Itay, whose health sector has been overwhelmed:
“There isn’t a number, but there is a pattern that we want to prevent, and that is the internal transmission exploding. It gets to a point where the infection enters a phase where contact tracing becomes impossible. That’s when you have a problem where you can find the disease anywhere.”
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