Mzansi – barring a few coronavirus hot-spots – is set to move to lockdown Level 3; and the Health Department says this may happen in ‘days, not weeks’.
The transition through our lockdown stages may happen quicker than first thought, after the Health Department’s Director-General – Doctor Anban Pillay – suggested that some parts of the country could move to Alert Level 3 of our emergency restrictions at some point this week.
WILL SOUTH AFRICA MOVE TO LEVEL 3 OF LOCKDOWN THIS WEEK?
Pillay’s comments come after a few nudges and winks were dropped by senior officials. KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala had previously stated that his province is ready to accelerate to the next level, and sources close to the president have hinted that the easing of regulations will only be ‘days away’ for some South Africans.
“It is possible that the move [to Level 3 of lockdown] could happen this week. We are looking at all health indicators to determine the alert level in each particular district. This includes active infections by area, and the capacity of localised health systems – how many hospital and ICU beds are available for use?
“These are the broad agenda we are looking at. We’ll refine the indicators over time, and as more evidence becomes available, we will look at other indicators. These alert levels will define economic activity and the social limits placed on each region of South Africa.”Anban Pillay on Level 3 restrictions
WHO WILL REMAIN AT LEVEL 4?
Here’s the part where we try to manage our expectations based on regional forecasts.
A large majority of South Africa has recorded a low transmission rate, and these are will be contenders to put their best foot forward before anyone else can. However, those in our biggest metros may have to sit Level 3 out for now.
The Cape Town, Johannesburg, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City Municipalities all have an infection rate above 10 people per 100 000.
This isn’t an official government indicator, but it does give us a picture of where coronavirus is currently wreaking the most havoc. Many of our city-dwellers are likely to stay at Level 4, unfortunately.