The government plans to move South Africa to level 3 isolation levels soon, but certain issues – such as whether the move will apply to the entire country – are still being debated, said Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Fikile Majola.
“The big issue facing the government and the country is how to move the country to level 3 and the measures to get there,” Majola told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Friday.
Majola says the government has already sought advice on how to relax the provisions already introduced in March. In some cases, there was conflicting advice on the wisdom of the decision to move down to Level 3.
One of the major issues was whether the entire country should be placed at a lower isolation level and whether these places with a higher infection rate should also remain at a stricter level. It is particularly concentrated in the Western Cape where more than 60% of the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases are reported.
Majola says he expects Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa will be announcing it soon.
Director-General of Trade and Industry Lionel October told the committee that the department’s focus is on the safe reopening of the economy, as well as repairing the damage done to lockdown from the economy.
“The lockdown has reached its goal. It flattened the curve and gave us five or six weeks to prepare. All the provinces have put in place active measures to deal with an increase in the infection rate, ”said October.
“It obviously had a devastating effect on the economy and our job now is to ensure there is a proper relaxation of the lockdown, a move to level 3 and then level 2 and to ensure all health and safety measures apply during this time. still.”
He says the department is well aware of warnings by the World Health Organization (WHO) to countries that open their economies too quickly that it could lead to a second wave of infections.
October also emphasized that although the government believes the isolation was successful in lowering the transmission rate, South Africa will not escape the full impact of the virus – which has claimed more than 332,000 lives worldwide -.
“There’s no way we can stop the epidemic.”