Another National State of Disaster extension has been approved by Cabinet. Here’s how long it will last once it’s been gazetted.
Following a virtual Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 9 September, another National State of Disaster extension was approved.
Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, under the Disaster Management Act, first declared the National State of Disaster back on 15 March 2020. Dlamini-Zuma said it was necessary to assist in protecting the public, provide relief to the public, protect property, prevent or combat disruption and to deal with other effects of the disaster.
CABINET APPROVES NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER EXTENSION
According to a statement, another National State of Disaster extension has been approved and provided a government gazette is released, it will be extended from 15 September 2020 to 15 October 2020. An extension looms in order to continue giving effect to the regulations that remain relevant to manage the spread of COVID-19 infections.
With only five days to go before the National State of Disaster expires, the announcement has come just in time.
While Cabinet concluded that COVID-19 infections, as well as hospital admissions, have dropped it said that safety protocols still have to be maintained.
“Let us build on the momentum of this encouraging news and continue to work together to consistently do the right things, such as practising social distancing, wearing a mask when in public and washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser,” it said.
“Cabinet thanks all South Africans for playing their part in adhering to restrictions to flatten the curve. We commend the dedication and sacrifice of all health professionals who have been our frontline defence against the virus,” it added.
PREVIOUS EXTENSION LEFT TO THE LAST MINUTE
In August, many South Africans were extremely bothered and frustrated by government’s lack of urgency regarding a National State of Disaster extension. In August, the announcement of an extension to September came mere hours before the expiration.
On 15 August Dlamini-Zuma released a gazette confirming another extension until 15 September.
“I, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as designated under Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act, hereby further extends the National State of Disaster that I extended on 15 August 2020 to 15 September 2020, taking into account the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of State to address the impact of the disaster,” it read.
On Wednesday 9 September, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced the latest COVID-19 figures. He reported a cumulative total of 642 431 confirmed cases, with 1 990 new cases identified.
The total number of tests conducted to date is 3 842 898 with 21 736 new tests conducted since the last report. A total of 82 new deaths were also reported, bringing the total death toll to 15 168. Thus far, 569 935 people have made a recovery, translating to a recovery rate of 88.7%.