News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
13 May 2020
1:33 pm

NCCC meets over next step of lockdown

News24 Wire

The meeting will also hear input from Zweli Mkhize on how the country is faring in terms of managing cases of Covid-19.

Image: Twitter @PresidencyZA

The National Coronavirus Command Council will on Wednesday morning get a report from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) on the implementation of the risk-adjusted strategy in easing the nationwide lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is chairing the virtual meeting of Cabinet ministers, which began at 9am, said his spokesperson Khusela Diko.

She said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was expected to brief the National Coronavirus Command Council on Wednesday morning on the progress the health department made in screening, tracing and testing for Covid-19.

UPDATE: Ramaphosa to address the nation tonight at 8.30pm

The NCCC meeting will also hear input from Mkhize on how the country is faring in terms of managing cases of Covid-19.

Mkhize announced on Tuesday that there were 11,350 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Africa with 206 deaths due to Covid-19 complications.

He also noted that, so far, 369,697 tests have been conducted.

South Africa entered Day 48 of the lockdown on Wednesday, 12 of which have been under Level 4.

In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Ramaphosa said the next phase of the coronavirus response will see government stepping up intensive screening, testing and case management.

“We will introduce new measures to make contact tracing more effective. We will need to implement mass sanitisation of workplaces, public transport and other spaces,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the easing of lockdown restrictions must not result in careless behaviour.

“The transition to the next phase of the coronavirus response, that of recovery, will be more difficult than the present one. The risk of infection outbreaks will increase. The demands on our clinics and hospitals and medical personnel will grow,” he said.

The NCCC meeting comes as Ramaphosa is under pressure to address the nation.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has questioned why Ramaphosa has not updated the public on the government’s work to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Since his announcement of a move to Level 4 of the lockdown, he has been missing in action and has left it to a handful of ministers to communicate the questionable decisions of the National [Coronavirus] Command Council.

“We call on the president to address the nation regularly – at least once a week – and that these briefings should include the opportunity to answer questions from the media. We also call on him to make public all Covid-19 data, along with the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases] modelling he is using to justify the continued lockdown,” he said.

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