Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that the sooner the shift to Level 1 of the national lockdown happens, the better. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
Minister Zweli Mkhize has noted that the nation continues to see a decline in new infections, a good sign that the surge is behind SA.
The Health Minister commented that a shift to Level 1 of the national lockdown should happen as soon as possible to see the return of normal economic activity.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest on the pandemic below:
1. Mkhize says shift to Level should happen soon
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that South Africa is over the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic and reportedly says the shift to Level 1 of the national lockdown should happen sooner rather than later.
The minister recently held interviews with both TimesLIVE and BusinessTech during which he voiced his optimism over the country's trajectory.
Despite touting the surge as over, Mkhize warned against premature celebrations saying that there is still a possibility of another wave of infections.
The resurgence in infections expected with the relaxation to Level 2 and 3 never happened but Mkhize reminded SA of instances in other countries where the lifting of lockdown had resulted in catastrophic case spikes.
The minister insists that the sooner the shift to Level 1 can happen, the better in a bid provide some economic relief but Mkhize stressed that the need for caution remains.
2. Mkhize provides latest Covid-19 stats
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided the nation with an update on the latest Covid-19 statistics.
In a statement issued by the Health Ministry, Mkhize confirmed that just over 1 000 new cases had been reported:
"As of today, a cumulative total of 640 441 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded with 1 079 new cases identified."
The Minister also confirmed that a number of new fatalities have been recorded, commenting that:
"Regrettably, we report 82 more Covid-19 related deaths: 27 from KwaZulu-Natal, 15 from Gauteng, 9 from Eastern Cape, 6 from Free State, 5 from Northern Cape, 20 from Western Cape. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 15 086."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the World Health Organisation had applauded SA's response to the pandemic.
Speaking during a briefing in Switzerland, Micheal Ryans, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme commented:
"The lessons learnt and the knowledge exchanged has been excellent. In many ways, South Africa reached out to the WHO, not through weakness but through strength. In recognising that it had a complex outbreak on its hands and not that it needed the help of WHO, but that it wanted to work with WHO to identify ways in which things could be done better."
WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commended the nation's leadership, including President Ramaphosa, for its contribution to ensuring Africa has a strategy to overcome:
"South Africa is doing its best we know its very, very complicated but we know it is doing its best and we are very glad to partner and send our colleagues there to work with SA. With the current trend, we hope to push it to a further decline and control the pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership, President Ramaphosa and not only in SA but the whole continent to develop one continental strategy and helping Africa to move forward as one."
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