As the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is set to meet on Wednesday, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says a return to a hard lockdown or an easing of restrictions depends entirely on the behaviour of South Africans.
The NCCC is convening an urgent meeting amid a rapid increase in infections and COVID19-related deaths fuelled by a new variant of the virus.
This meeting will seek to come up with a concrete plan on how the government will further intensify the fight against COVID-19.
The Eastern Cape has recorded the fourth-highest number of infections in the country but the highest number of deaths with 7 716.
Premier Mabuyane has been briefing the media in Bhisho on the work being done amid a resurgence of the coronavirus.
“The ball is in the court of people to determine whether we remain under Alert Level 3, whether we move to Alert Level 5 or whether we move to Alert Level 1. We, however, remain cautious because of the uncertainty in achieving personal behaviour to adhere to regulations. Hence, we insist that mandatory wearing of masks should continue to be enforced, that our people should continue to social distance, wash their hands, and stay at home. We are also acutely aware of the risk posed by the new COVID variant. In this regard, we continue to protect and strengthen our healthcare system to withstand any form of demand.”
4 300 hospital beds available
Mabuyane has dismissed reports that there are not enough hospital beds at the provincial government hospitals.
He says there are more than 4 300 hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients while more than 1 800 have been occupied.
He says close to 700 beds have been prepared for critical COVID-19 patients while 160 from those are being occupied. Mabuyane adds that only 46 % of oxygenated beds are currently in use in public hospitals.
Premier Mabuyane live stream in full:
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