A harder lockdown for Christmas? Zweli Mkhize bemoans new ‘virus spike’

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has made it clear that South Africa is heading in the wrong direction with its coronavirus cases: Wednesday’s stats painted an eye-opening picture, as new cases jumped by just under 50% in the last 24-hour period. The chief authority on the pandemic response was earlier asked about our first ‘COVID-19 Christmas’

Hard lockdown for Christmas? Unlikely, but not impossible

While Mkhize played down the chances of a harder lockdown coming for the festive period, he also failed to rule it out. The minister remains dismayed with the data over the past few weeks, which has reached a ‘consistent level of concern’. Cluster outbreaks and spikes in the Eastern Cape are threatening to unleash a second wave of the virus.

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Photo: GCIS

Zweli Mkhize’s ‘wake-up call’ for South Africa

Speaking with Radio 702, Zweli Mkhize has pleaded with South Africans to refrain from complacency. Life with coronavirus is not normal, and nobody should treat it as such. For those already planning ahead this Christmas, the ANC stalwart has asked citizens to factor in mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitisation:

“The numbers were coming down in July and August but we have seen in the last three weeks that cases are slowly creeping up and we are passing over 2 000 cases per day. This indicates that there are pockets of cluster outbreaks and the numbers are becoming prominent and are growing in the Eastern Cape.

“It is important that all South Africans are concerned about the rise in cases: The numbers should be going down and stabilising but it looks like complacency has come in and people think they can just live a normal life.”

“We are not at a point where we are talking about a harder lockdown, but people need to observe all the COVID-19 protocols. We are saying people need to enjoy their festive season differently at a distance, with masks and sanitizers.”

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

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