The immense cost of deploying the SA National Defense Force to enforce lockdown restrictions has been revealed. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
The South African National Defense Force was deployed in the early days of the nation's response to the Covid-19 pandemic to bolster authorities in the face of an unprecedented national lockdown.
Now, with the return to Level 3 restrictions amid the second wave of infections, the army has once again been deployed to enforce regulations.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic below:
1. SANDF deployment comes at steep cost
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told Parliament that the deployment of around 2 000 troops to bolster the SA Police Service in enforcing Level 3 lockdown restrictions came at a cost of R95 million.
This information was contained in a letter sent to National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo that over 2 000 members of the SANDF had been deployed:
"I have authorised the employment of 2 122 members for service in order to preserve life, health or property in emergency or humanitarian relief operations in support of other government departments and in cooperation with the SAPS in the prevention of crime and maintenance of law and order."
This deployment kicked off at the end of 2020 and is expected to continue until the end of January with Cyril Xaba, co-chairperson of Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Defence lauding the deployment as having contributed greatly to the fight against Covid-19.
2. Mkhize on latest statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has once again updated South Africans on the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, Mkhize commented on the latest number of infections:
"As of today the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 356 716."
In addition to the latest recorded cases, the Minister confirmed the recorded fatalities:
"Regrettably, we report a further 839 deaths: Eastern Cape 102 , Free State 20, Gauteng 48, KwaZulu Natal 263, Limpopo 238, Mpumalanga 11, North West 25, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 130 which brings the total to 38 288 deaths."
Mkhize explained that the high number of fatalities recorded was due to a backlog in data:
"The high number reported today is due to data reconciliation as part of the regular auditing process- this includes the analysis of community data taking into account (amongst others): postmortem swabs, backlogged data and unconfirmed outcomes at facilities."
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