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Consultations on which areas will move to lockdown level 3 start today

From the end of May, government is introducing a district-based approach to the lockdown, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases concentrated in the area.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on the coronavirus measures on 13 May 2020. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The process of deciding which districts will move from level 4 lockdown restrictions to level 3 will commence on Friday.

From the end of May, government is introducing a district-based approach to the lockdown, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases concentrated in the area.

Officials say COVID-19 hotspots have emerged in the Western and Eastern Cape and require targeted efforts to track and trace contacts.

Government is moving away from the blanket national lockdown model and will use a customised, district-based approach to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is kept at an absolute minimum.

Oversight mechanisms will be put in place to gauge how each district monitors the adherence to the new lockdown rules.

Case numbers will be monitored, and the national command council will review the level of lockdown per district every two weeks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said protecting the livelihoods of people was as important as protecting them from COVID-19: “We’re going to be meeting with our social partners at Nedlac and thereafter we will meet with our provinces and we hope to conclude the consultations very quickly. We are doing this as properly as it should be done.”

Ramaphosa said depending of the duration of the consultation process, level 3 lockdown might be introduced sooner.

Officials say if the lockdown was not introduced, at least 80,000 South Africans could have been infected with COVID-19 and the national death toll might have been eight times higher.

WATCH: COVID-19 - Situation Desk - 14 May 2020 PM

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