Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that he supports calls for a relaxation of the national lockdown. Briefly.co.za explores this story and more updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
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Minister Zweli Mkhize says that he supports calls for easing lockdown restrictions in South Africa.
This comes as the South African Medical Research Council says there are tentative signs that the worst of the pandemic has already passed.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the situation:
1. Mkhize supports bid to ease lockdown
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said that SA 'cannot be in a lockdown forever', confirming that the nation is set to see a relaxation in restrictions soon. Speaking to 702, Mkhize explained that the state is attempting to balance reopening the economy while limiting the risk of infections.
However, the minister says that a relaxation is currently being discussed amongst the nation's leadership:
“This is indeed on the table right now. The National Coronavirus Command Council is discussing all sorts of different suggestions and proposals to look at what areas need to be released, what restrictions need to be eased and which ones still need to be kept.”
The government is looking to Covid-19 'trends' to determine when it comes to lifting certain restrictions but Mkhize wouldn't get into which laws should be eased:
“But which ones (will be eased), I will leave to the decision-making command council which has to take a lot of other factors into account.”
READ ALSO: Report: Ramaphosa told to relax tobacco, liquor lockdown bans
2. SAMRC says there are signs that Covid-19 peak is behind SA
The South African Medical Research Council says that there are tentative signs that the country has passed peak Covid-19 infections. The council feels that all provinces may have hit the height of infections at the end of July, but cautioned that each region has its own trajectory in the pandemic.
In a statement issued on the matter, the SAMRC warned that citizens should still take precautionary measures:
"We still urge South Africans to continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, hand-hygiene and avoid crowds and congestion."
READ ALSO: Steenhuisen: Ramaphosa must 'grow a spine' and end national lockdown
3. Mkhize provides update on Covid-19 statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided the nation with the latest statistics on the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the minister noted an increase in infections:
"As of today, a cumulative total of 568 919 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded."
In addition to the new infections, Mkhize confirmed that the death toll had risen to 11 010 fatalities:
"Regrettably we report 259 new Covid-19-related deaths: 46 from Eastern Cape, 108 from Gauteng, 74 from KwaZulu-Natal, 31 from Western Cape. This brings the cumulative total of reported Covid-19-related deaths to 11 010."
The minister noted that the recovery rate has seen an increase, currently at 75.9% with 432 029 citizens winning their personal battle against the virus.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance has called for the lockdown to be completely lifted in favour of reopening the economy.
Interim leader John Steenhuisen urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to 'grow a spine' and allow the nation to begin recovering from the pandemic.
This comes ahead of the expected announcement on the way forward amid mounting calls for a relaxation.
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