Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has extended the national State of Disaster, while Minister Mkhize plans to control the behaviour of citizens to avoid the spread of the virus. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
The National State of Disaster has been extended beyond the deadline which would see it expiring on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is seeking permission to obtain more power amid the crisis.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic:
1. National State of Disaster extended by another month
The national State of Disaster has been extended by another month in an apparent bid to avoid a second wave of infections announced Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday.
The Minister clarified confusion over the situation after the deadline for the state to expire loomed on Thursday, commented:
"Cabinet has decided to further extend the National State of Disaster by a month. This period will allow government a progressive and responsible return to normal. It will help us put measures in place to avoid a second wave of infections."
2. Mkhize wants more power to restrict citizens
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize aims to restrict the power of citizens even without a National State of Disaster in effect with his new proposed regulations.
Speaking during a meeting of the portfolio committee on health earlier this week, Mkhize presented a set of regulations that would empower him in the same way Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is empowered by the Disaster Management Act.
Justifying the move, Mkhize described it as 'major ammunition to deal with the pandemic':
"The Minister may, to ensure that all necessary and reasonable measures are put in place to manage and control the spread of the notifiable medical condition, by regulation published in the Government Gazette, impose necessary restrictions, relating to such notifiable medical condition."
The proposal included giving Mkhize to power to determine the following restrictions:
- The total or partial closure of any public place
- Prohibiting or regulating the holding of or attendance at any public event or gathering
- Prohibiting or regulating inter-district or provincial movement of persons
- Prohibiting or regulating the movement of persons at points of entry
- Regulating specified hours requiring persons to remain indoors
- The complete or partial closing of any educational institution
3. Mkhize on latest Covid-19 statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided South Africa with the latest Covid-19 statistics.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mkhize confirmed another increase in new infections:
"As of today, the cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases is 696 414 with 1 877 new cases identified since the last report."
Commenting on fatalities, the Minister confirmed that additional deaths had been recorded:
"Regrettably, we report 123 more COVID-19 related deaths: 44 from Eastern Cape, 14 from the Free State, 17 from KwaZulu Natal, 35 from Gauteng, 8 from North West and 5 from Western Cape. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 18 151."
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that Finance Minister has had to postpone his Medium-term Budget speech.
The minister cited that the pandemic's effect on the nation's finances as the leading contributors to the delay, with the statement continuing to say that:
"The Minister has made this request having taken into consideration the complex and unusual circumstances visited upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic, which included the tabling of a Supplementary Budget in June 2020. The Ministry of Finance and National Treasury have had to adjust and consultation of the budgetary process."
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