President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed rumours that South Africa is returning to a hard lockdown but said there are worrying trends related to COVID-19 infections.
Concerns about a second hard lockdown started after KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said it is unavoidable unless there is a decline in COVID-19 infections.
“Looking at the statistics, we can now safely say that we are definitely going back into a hard lockdown if there is no urgent and drastic change in behaviour,” Zikalala said.
Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces that this is simply not true and that no such decision has been made.
It is, however, not completely off the cards. The President said he received a report on Tuesday on COVID-19 infections, but still has to study it.
He said after he studied the report, he will address the nation – most likely next week – about the situation and the way forward.
Ramaphosa highlighted that they are starting to see signs which are of concern to them, including super spreader events.
A big concern, Ramaphosa said, is that many people are not adhering to the protective measures like wearing masks and washing hands.
“As South Africans we need to adhere to the measures that have been put to us by the medical advisory committee,” he said.
The government continues to actively monitor and analyze the situation, with the assistance of the medical advisory group.
“In the coming days, possibly next week, I will be able to address the people of South Africa about what we now need to do in the light of what we are going through,” he said.
“I don’t want to be alarmist. The rumors that we are going to level 3 is simply not true.”
“If we ever get there, I will be the one to advise the nation where we are, and where we are going to.”