President Ramaphosa may be addressing the nation on a shift to Level 1 on Wednesday evening. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa might be holding a family meeting on Wednesday evening to announce changes to the national lockdown.
Minister Zweli Mkhize has also indicated that around 12 million citizens may have been infected with the virus.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest information on the pandemic:
READ ALSO: Explainer: Mkhize unpacks possible lockdown relaxations under debate
1. President Ramaphosa may address the nation on Wednesday night
A recent report hinted that the nation can expect to hear more about South Africa's plan to combat Covid-19 on Wednesday evening. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make an announcement on the changes to lockdown this week and the report indicated that this may happen sooner rather than later.
Ramaphosa is anticipated to announce a shift to Level 1 of the national lockdown, which would allow for conditional international travel to resume for the first time since March.
SowetanLIVE reported that travel from countries deemed high-risk (like the United States and some European nations) would remain prohibited.
However, the Presidency has remained silent on the anticipated announcement for the time being so it remains unconfirmed if Ramaphosa will indeed be hosting a family meeting this evening.
2. Mkhize says around 12 million citizens may have been infected
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that an estimated 12 million citizens may have contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic.
While this steep figure (almost a fifth of the population) is very high, only just over 650 000 cases have been registered.
The Minister explained that the actual infection rate could be much higher, according to a study on Covid-19 antibodies. eNCA spoke to vaccinologist Shabir Madhi from the Univesity of Witwatersrand, who says that infection rates could be as steep as 40% in some places:
"What we have seen in South Africa, at least based on early data, is that in densely-populated areas of the country between 35 to 40 percent of people have been infected with this virus."
3. Mkhize on the latest statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has updated South Africa on the latest Covid-19 statistics in the country. In a statement issued by the Department of Health, Mkhize confirmed the latest increase in infections:
"As of today, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 651 521 with 772 new cases identified."
In addition to the new cases, Mkhize also reported on the latest rise in fatalities linked to the virus:
"Regrettably, we report 142 more Covid-19-related deaths: 16 from KwaZulu-Natal, 12 from Gauteng, 4 from Eastern Cape, 13 from Western Cape, 11 from Northern Cape, 19 from Mpumalanga and 67 from Limpopo. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 15 641."
The Minister also confirmed that recoveries now stand at 583 126, which translates to a recovery rate of 89.5%.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhize had shed some light on what regulations may be adjusted with a shift to Level 1.
The minister said that South Africa has been recording considerably fewer Covid-19 infections in recent times, explaining that some restrictions have come into the spotlight as a result:
"Having observed evidence that suggests a sustained decline in coronavirus transmission, as the Department of Health we have considered easing restrictions in various aspects - such as the curfew, sale of alcohol, religious gatherings, and travel restrictions - for the National Coronavirus Command Council, which will make final recommendations to Cabinet."
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