Phased lockdown strategy to be implemented – Ramaphosa

CAPE TOWN- President Cyril Ramaphosa has outlined a phased relaxation of the National lockdown and an alert system with clearly defined levels of restriction which can be imposed by the National Command Council as necessary.

South Africa is currently on level 5, but will however enter into level 4 on the 1st of May.

The alert system has five levels and would allow for flexibility and responsiveness. With the system in place it would reduce the need to amend regulations in future.

At each level restrictions would be more or less severe, and sectors and companies would know what activity is permitted depending on the level imposed at any time.

Ramaphosa made the announcement on Thursday evening as a follow up from his national briefing earlier this week regarding the R500 billion stimulus package for the country’s economy.

He said the alert level approach has been guided by scientists, as the abrupt lifting of the lockdown would cause a surge of infections.

“There is clear evidence that the lockdown is working. By delaying the spread of the virus, we have had time to prepare our health facilities which was needed to meet the unavoidable increase of infections,” said Ramaphosa.

Earlier on Thursday Health minister Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa recorded 10 more Covid-19 related deaths, bringing the total to 75 while infections are at 3953, a sharp increase of 318.

The following restrictions will remain in place after the national lockdown, and regardless of the level of alert at any given time:

  • Sit-in restaurants and hotels
  • Bars and shebeens
  • Conference and convention centres
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, and concerts
  • Sporting events
  • Religious, cultural and social gatherings

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