Thursday, 14 May 2020


President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that government plans to ease lockdown restrictions so that most of the country can enter into level 3 from the end of May has been met with mixed reactions from South Africans.

He said that those areas with widespread and uncontrolled infections of the coronavirus would likely remain on level 4.

The decision on which areas would be moved to different levels would be done in consultation with various officials.

Ramaphosa said there would be changes to the existing regulations for level 4 of lockdown, mentioning reducing the restrictions about exercise.

He said in an address to the nation on Wednesday that the strict measures were necessary to improve the readiness of the country's health facilities and prevent additional deaths. The country moved from level 5 to level 4 on May 1.

"We will therefore continue to proceed cautiously," he said. "Our goal is to steadily increase economic activity while putting measures in place to reduce the transmission of the virus and provide adequate care for those who become infected and need treatment."
Ramaphosa warned of the dangers of lifting lockdown regulations too quickly, saying should measures be lifted too quickly, it would counteract the efforts made so far.

He highlighted the success of the lockdown, saying it gave the government and health officials a chance to “delay the spread of the virus and prevent a huge surge of infections”.

He said the measures provided the time to strengthen the capacity of the health system, allowing for the acquisition of 25,000 additional beds needed in quarantine facilities and the production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The president said the death toll in SA is now at 219. He said it is important to remember that we are dealing with human lives, reminding South Africans that each person that has died had a family, dependants, friends and colleagues.


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