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Mkhize: Govt to use district-based approach to COVID-19 response

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that districts would be assigned individual lockdown levels to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that lockdown levels would be tailored to districts in areas where there were high levels of COVID-19 infections.

This is likely to apply to the Western Cape, where Cape Town accounts for more than half of the confirmed cases in South Africa.

On Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government would begin consultations to relax restrictions to level 3 but not in areas of concern.

The Health Department believes that cluster outbreaks around Cape Town drive the rapid progression of COVID-19 in the region.

Minister Mkhize said that targeted efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape were needed.

Based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, districts in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases will be assigned individual levels of lockdown depending on the average number of active cases per 100,000 people.

On a visit to the Eastern Cape today, President Cyril Ramphosa stressed that easing lockdown restrictions must take place in a strategic manner.

"We are not stuck at level 4, I need to make that very clear, we are now going to migrate to level 3 so that we can loosen up a number of restrictions so that the economy can start operating once again."

The National Command Council will review the level of lockdown per district every two weeks.

WATCH: Ramaphosa: Without lockdown, at least 80,000 would have been infected by now

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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