It’s our first day of Level 1 lockdown on Monday. As the rules relax even further this week, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has urged South Africans to avoid complacency, by issuing a stark warning about the possibility of a ‘COVID resurgence’.
South Africa moves to Level 1
His words are precautionary, but in this post-normal world, they need to be taken very seriously. Although infection rates in Mzansi have declined sharply, Mkhize did remind the public that a significant number of people are still contracting coronavirus on a weekly basis – and that’s only counting the people who have actually taken a test.
In the video address, Mkhize also explains that South Africa is pinning its hopes on a working vaccine to help bring the country out of lockdown for good. With parts of Europe already experiencing a second wave, it seems that prolonged periods of tight restrictions cannot eradicate the virus on their own.
Zweli Mkhize warns of ‘COVID resurgence’
At Level 1, curfew hours are shorter, more people can return to work, and international travel resumes. The economy is in its strongest position for six months, after taking an absolute battering from the pandemic. Although the need to get the country back on its feet is urgent, Mkhize insists that this has to be done carefully:
“We’re not out of the woods. We know that, although about 10 000 people per week are getting infected, there will be more out there. We are now searching for the vaccine, but before we get the vaccine, we can’t rest.”
“South Africans must know that Level 1 isn’t like everything is over. Yes, it’s in place to rebuild our economy, but we have to make sure we take precautions. This COVID-19 can still resurge. We must not lose the message and be complacent. The fight continues, so our containment measures still remain in place.”
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) September 21, 2020
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