South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday said that the coronavirus lockdown ease should lead “us to staying on high alert in using prevention measures” against the disease.The minister said this when he briefed the house of traditional chiefs’ known as National Council of Provinces on the impact of Covid-19 in the country in Cape Town.
Issuing the advice, Mkhize said that the country faced an even bigger outbreak of the disease in months to come, worse than it had seen in its first positive case in March this year.
According to him, more than 950 Covid-19 patients were currently in the country’s hospitals and more than 120 of them remained in the intensive care units across the country, the minister said.
The worst was still to come, Mkhize told the traditional leaders in a message designed for the listeners to pass on to their folks back home.
“It should be made clear to our people that the Covid-19 still remains a danger. In reality, it is worse now than it was when we first had our first case in March.
“It is important for us to say that, whatever we are doing, we must be aware that we are facing a much bigger Covid-19 outbreak challenge now,” Mkhize said.
He said the number of coronavirus has breached the 23,000 marks, with 481 deaths from the disease.
“We, therefore, can defeat the pandemic on the basis of collective social behavioural change that creates a whole new culture of social distancing, use of masks, coughing etiquette and ensuring that everybody is conscious of their individual roles.”