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No decision yet on easing SA to level 2 lockdown - Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that the matter was still under consideration by the national coronavirus command council (NCCC).

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addresses a media briefing on 13 July 2020. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that government had not yet reached any decision on whether the country was ready for lockdown regulations to be eased.

There are growing calls from several corners of society for President Cyril Ramaphosa to open up more sectors of an economy battered by COVID-19.

Mkhize said that the matter was still under consideration by the national coronavirus command council (NCCC).

"The question of whether we're ready for level two, we're discussing it with the NCCC who will give us a guide on that but right now a lot of consultations are going on and with the numbers that are moving, there's certainly adjustments that we have to look at."

Mkhize said that the country should wait for Ramaphosa to make the decision on the matter.

"The president will be able to give a full guide at that point when that decision is made not. No decision has been made yet about level 2."

The Health Minister said that South Africa had anticipated that the impact of COVID-19 would be far worse, with a much higher infection rate.

More than 572,000 people have been infected, the fifth most in the world.

The infection rate is now slowing down but Mkhize has stressed the importance of reinforcing good behaviour like wearing masks and washing hands.

"From what we are seeing, South Africa has fared a little better than we initially anticipated. We've not quite as bad, and of course, we always regret any loss of life in South Africa, however, we have now seen that the surge is abating. the fact that it is abating and to be honest, we were still waiting and preparing for a higher increase based on the forecast and models that have been shown to us."

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