South Africa considers gradual ease of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Published on : Thursday, May 14, 2020

On Tuesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government is looking forward to gradually ease lockdown restriction in the country. He mentioned that government authorities are looking forward to consult relevant stakeholders in order to propose the idea of placing most of South Africa at Level 3 of lockdown ease by the end of May. However, places with the highest rates of coronavirus infections in the country will continue to remain at Level 4.

The president also addressed the measures that are being undertaken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus as the country move towards easing its restrictions. The government is also planning a gradual opening of the economy but would be proceeding carefully guided by the top advises and evidences provided by local and international experts. President Ramaphosa also warned that lifting the lockdown too abruptly and rapidly might increase the risk of a rapid and insurmountable surge in infections across the country.

According to reports, coronavirus infections in South Africa were mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts across the country. Therefore, with Level 3 of lockdown ease, some areas are likely to be designated at a certain level while few others may be allotted to another level. The president also mentioned that despite the duration and severity of the lockdown it was inevitable. He said that without the implementation of the lockdown infections would have soared across the countries alongside an increased number of fatalities and more pressure on the hospitals.

He said that the purpose of the lockdown was to delay the spread of the virus and to prevent a huge surge of infections. He declared that the South Africans has rightly responded to the situation and successfully dealt with the deadly virus. He informed that the capacity of the country’s health system has been strengthened due to the delay in the virus spread and a wide range of public health programs have been introduced to better manage the inevitable increase in infections.

He added that as the country is moving towards slow ease of restrictions, stringent measures have to be maintained in high-risk areas. He announced that travel restrictions would continue to remain in place for such areas but traveling to regions having lower rates of infection would be encouraged. He further mentioned that the authorities will begin a process of consultation with relevant stakeholders soon and will make further announcements after the completion of the consultations.

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