By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Department of Health will receive a report on Friday from the government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on whether South Africa’s adjusted level 4 lockdown will be extended and whether restrictions should be tightened or relaxed.
In a media briefing on Friday morning, department director-general Sandile Buthelezi said that this feedback from the MAC will help inform the department’s own recommendations to the National Coronacirus Command Council (NCCC) on whether the lockdown should be extended beyond 11 July.
Buthelezi said that these discussions with the government would take place later today and this weekend.
In addition to the MAC’s report, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said her department’s recommendations will be based on the seven-day moving average in Covid-19 cases currently being seen in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa moved South Africa to an adjusted level 4 lockdown on 27 June, introducing strict restrictions on gatherings, the sale of alcohol and a new evening curfew.
Ramaphosa said that these restrictions would be reviewed in two weeks time to establish their effectiveness, with an update due on 11 July.
South Africa reported 22,910 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday (8 July), taking the total reported to 2,135,246.
Deaths have reached 63,499, while recoveries have climbed to 1,862,900, leaving the country with a balance of 208,847 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 4,017,442.
While Gauteng continues to be the epicentre of the third wave of Covid-19 infections, Kubayi-Ngubane said that it appears that the country is now reaching its peak in cases.
However, she said that there was now concern that the third wave would start to increase in other provinces, including the Western Cape and Limpopo.
Meanwhile the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet on Sunday to assess developments in the COVID-pandemic in the country and the national response to this challenge.
The Council’s deliberations come towards the end of a two-week period during which the country has implemented Alert Level 4 of the coronavirus national state of disaster.
The Council meeting will be followed by meetings of the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.