- Police Miniser Bheki Cele has indicated that an extension on the lockdown isn't totally out of the question
- Cele says that the remainder of the current lockdown will determine if this time will be lengthened or not
- The minister highlighted the preservation of human life as the top priority in the fight against the coronavirus
Police Minister Bheki Cele hasn't ruled out the possibility of the current 21-day national lockdown being extended as SA continues to fight against the coronavirus.
Speaking during a press briefing on Tuesday, Cele highlighted ensuring people were safe as the government's first priority
"People are asking, can we go beyond the lockdown? Anything is possible. We are on the twelfth day today, the next few days are going to determine which direction we are taking. We would wish to go back to normal life as fast as we can, but we wish to go back with people alive."
The Police Minister insists that there is no rush to lift the lockdown when the health risks involved remain high, explaining that
"There is no need to rush back (to life as usual) when there are people who are sick and people who are dying. This period has no comparison, they have nothing to compare it to. ( Protecting) human life at the present moment is the primary task of all of us, protecting people so that they survive this terrible era."
Briefly.co.za reported that the economic impact of the coronavirus and the resulting lockdown has been immense.
The South African Reserve Bank has indicated the economy will shrink by up to 4% as a result, with 370 000 job cuts expected and over 1 000 businesses expected to close their doors.
The relief fund put into place by billionaire Johann Rupert has already exceeded it's R1 billion starting capital by R1.8 billion as businesses scramble to limit the damage done.
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