KwaZulu-Natal is preparing to migrate to Level 3 of the national lockdown, despite having recorded at least 45 deaths.
The province was the first to report a Covid-19 case after patient zero was identified on 5 March.
By Saturday, the province had 1 498 confirmed cases, 806 recoveries, with more than 2.4 million people screened and more than 59 000 tests conducted.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday that Level 3 meant more business sectors would open, the use of public transport would increase and, therefore, it required vigilance and accountability by all in the province.
“There are strong indications that, as KwaZulu-Natal, all our regions may move to Level 3. However, there is a caveat that, in order for it to happen and remain that way, everyone will have to comply with all the non-pharmaceutical approaches to preventing infections,” said Zikalala.
He said the province’s high-risk regions, in terms of risk and vulnerability analysis, must be strongly examined before the end of May.
“Level 3 comes with a lot of movement, including inter-provincial travel. This means that our rural areas, where most of our elders live, may start to be exposed to the virus.
“As we prepare to ease the economy further, all businesses, government facilities and municipalities must have in place measures to prevent the spread of the virus and protect people.
“The citizens, business, civil society and the government have to work together to ensure that we all adhere to regulations. All businesses have to be sanitised. There must be proof that social distancing can occur in the place of work and in public, and sanitisation and hand washing facilities for consumers and staff must be available,” Zikalala said.
He said contact tracing, screening and testing will have to be focused.
“The lowering of infections and our ability to manage outbreaks, especially as more people will return to work, will be strictly monitored, and we have to intensify screening and testing at every public facility.
“Daily education and awareness campaigns, and the preparedness to manage all the new cases that may arise, will be key in determining the levels in our provincial districts.
“We believe that the entire province should move to Level 3, but we have to act fast if we see a district where concerning trends are emerging.
“We urge everyone to play their part. It is in our hands to curb the spread of the virus through a change in our attitudes and behaviour,” Zikalala said.