Covid-19 update: Premier warns that return of lockdown looms

Covid-19 update: Premier warns that return of lockdown looms

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for a change in behaviour, warning of a second hard lockdown. explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

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With lockdown restrictions being eased, South Africans were repeatedly warned not to relax preventative measures.

Now, cases are on the rise and numerous government officials are hinting that a second lockdown may well be on the cards for Mzansi. explores the top stories on the crisis below:

Zikalala has cautioned that complacency will be rewarded with a second hard lockdown. Image: Flickr/ GovernmentZA
Source: Twitter

1. Zikalala warns of second lockdown in SA

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has warned citizens that a hard lockdown seems inevitable unless cases are reduced.

Speaking during a media briefing on Sunday, the Premier said that the statistics are a sign that a clampdown may be necessary:

“Looking at the statistics, we can now safely say that we are definitely going back into a hard lockdown if there is no urgent and drastic change in behaviour."

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The politician explained that a second wave would be 'stronger and deadlier', not just when it comes to fatalities but economic fallout:

“There is no use in chasing profits today only to be shut down by a hard lockdown tomorrow."

The premier feels that 'reckless' alcohol sales have the 'potential to derail' progress made against the virus:

“We cannot tolerate that, and therefore our inspectors will be going out in full force to enforce the law."

2. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has updated South Africans on the latest Covid-19 statistics. In a statement issued by the Department of Health on Sunday evening, Mkhize commented that:

"As of today, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 715 868."

In addition to the increase in cases, Mkhize also confirmed the latest number of fatalities:

"Regrettably, we report 24 Covid-19-related deaths today. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 18 968. Of the 24 deaths reported today, five occurred in the past 48 hours."

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The minister noted that recoveries now stand at 646 170, which translates to a recovery rate of 90,3%.

Earlier, reported that Universities South Africa (USAF) expressed that they had a concern for reckless student behaviour since the lockdown in South Africa had been relaxed.

"There are reports of students mingling recklessly, throwing parties within residences and visiting nightclubs with not much regard for the safety protocols,” they said in a statement.

Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad from the Durban Metro Police said that students were not following the lockdown regulations that are in place.

He said: "You find groups of students gathering outside their accommodation, smoking and drinking — not a mask in sight.”

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, co-chair of the ministerial advisory committee, has said that moving back to a higher level of lockdown was not on the cards but could happen as a last resort.

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He said that South Africans were not following the appropriate safety measures and he is concerned about the travel in December.

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