SA is recording fewer new Covid-19 infections and a shift to Level 2 of the national lockdown may be on the cards. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic which continues to plague the nation.
South Africa may well be moving to more relaxed lockdown restrictions with President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to make an announcement soon.
This comes as the country records declining new infections amid the pandemic with the recovery rate remaining high.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic in SA:
1. SA records fewer new Covid-19 cases
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided SA with an update on the latest Covid-19 statistics.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening the minister confirmed that the nation had recorded just over 2 500 new infections in the past 24 hours:
"As of today, a cumulative total of 566 109 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded."
The country also experienced 130 new Covid-19 fatalities, pushing the death toll to 10 751:
"Regrettably we report 130 new Covid-19 related-deaths: 20 from Eastern Cape, 35 from Gauteng, 30 from KwaZulu-Natal, 20 from North West, 25 from Western Cap. This brings the cumulative total of reported Covid-19 related deaths to 10 751."
However, the recovery rate has slightly increased and now stands at 75%, explained the minister:
"The number of recoveries currently stands at 426 125 which translates to a recovery rate of 75%."
2. Level 2 lockdown may be on cards for SA
A report from TimesLIVE states that South Africa may be migrating to Level 2 this week should Cabinet accept a recommendation to open up the economy.
A forum consisting of directors-general of national departments recently met and agreed to submit the recommendation to the National Coronavirus Command Council.
Should this recommendation be accepted, President Cyril Ramaphosa will be addressing the nation before the week is over to announce the shift to Level 2.
3. Smokers unite against lockdown tobacco ban
Justice for RSA is a newly-established NPC formed after tobacco users created a Facebook group dubbed ‘#Smokers Against Lockdown Cigarette Ban’.
The group has decided to take the government on in yet another legal challenge over the ban on tobacco sales amid the Covid-19 lockdown. The entity has launched an urgent application in the Constitutional Court in an effort to overturn the prohibition.
The Citizen reports that director Bradley Hirner had explained that tobacco is, for many citizens, the difference 'between normal life and chaos'. Hirner claims that only a small portion of nearly 60 000 members had actually given up smoking when the ban was put into place.
The ban, in his opinion, is an infringement on the constitutional rights of smokers and an unjustifiable one to boot.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has dismissed the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association's view that tobacco is an essential item.
The entity is attempting to convince the judicial system that lifting the ban is the way forward amid the lockdown restrictions. However, the minister is adamant that cigarettes aren't an 'essential' in her answering affidavit in the legal battle:
“Cigarettes and tobacco do not, by their nature, fall into the same category as goods which are life-sustaining or necessary for basic functionality."
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