Coronavirus: Ramaphosa contemplates SA's future over lockdown

Coronavirus: Ramaphosa contemplates SA's future over lockdown

- President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently weighing his options when it comes to the path forward for South Africa

- The benefits of extending the current coronavirus lockdown are being measured against the potential economic consequences

- This comes as the World Health Organisation signals that SA can still flatten the curve

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet committed to a decision over whether or not the current lockdown will be extended.

News24 spoke to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu who confirmed that Ramaphosa is making 'serious decisions' over SA's future amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts claim that prematurely lifting the lockdown could lead to an increase in infections while economists warn that prolonging the lockdown could cause irreparable damage to the economy.

Mthembu explained that the first task is assessing whether the objectives in the fightback effort have been achieved, namely to 'flatten the infection curve'.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Number of confirmed cases rises to 1 845, 5 fatalities

The minister says that, should the matter of extending the lockdown come up, serious decisions will be made:

"The issue of the [lockdown] extension has not yet arisen. If it comes, there will be serious decisions to be made. The National Command Council discusses all recommendations that come before it, and there must be scientific evidence supporting any recommendation from the national joint operational and intelligence structure."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has signalled that South Africa could beat this unseen enemy without extending the lockdown.

eNCA reports that spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris encouraged people to continue practising social distancing but felt previous experience will help the continent overcome:

"Africa has an advantage and understands the importance of surveillance. While the rest of the world was taken by surprise, My feeling is Africa is better placed in many ways. It is still relatively early, There is still time to flatten to curve." reported that the latest figures from the Health Ministry noted a 96-case increase to 1 845 confirmed infections, with a total of 18 fatalities noted.

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