Rumours are running rife on social media the government could initiate another hard lockdown, much like the country experienced during lockdown Level 5 as the Covid-19 infection rate increases.
However, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Mlungisi Mthsali confirmed to The Citizen these rumours are pure speculation and the department has not been instructed to move to a higher or harder lockdown level.
“There have been no discussions, unless it’s still coming.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa later confirmed that an imminent move to Lockdown Level 3 was “simply not true” during a sitting of the National Council of Provinces.
However, he will be studying a new report and said the government has observed some worrying trends.
Ramaphosa said the government continues to analyse and manage the situation with the assistance of the medical advisory committee: “We are seeing some signs that are of concern to us,” he said.
Level 3 Lockdown from the 15th of November to early January. Heard from a reliable source. . . . . . let’s see.
— Wrexniz (@wrexniz) October 27, 2020
So South Africa is really considering going back on hardcore lockdown huh?????????????????????
— Zai???? (@zaithwa_) October 27, 2020
My interview on @VOCfm with @shafiqmorton discussing #COVID__19 in @SouthAfrica. Drivetime, 26 Oct. Is hard lockdown on the cards again? @UWConline @GHyoungacademy @SAYAS_SA @WestCapeHealth #CoronavirusPandemic #covid19SA #Covid_19 https://t.co/tr81OUU6aE
— Burtram C Fielding (@bcfielding) October 27, 2020
Earlier, Mthsali said as per the plan presented on 25 April, lockdown looked at the number of infections and the state of readiness to deal with infections in terms of hospital infrastructure.
He said that “a lot of progress has been made since Level 5, 4 and even 3” and he “doesn’t see a likelihood of us moving to a higher level”.
When asked where the rumours of a stricter lockdown came from, Mthsali said it was likely due to people speculating about the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Wales: this lockdown is ridiculous and the most strict one in the world
South Africa: pic.twitter.com/HAC6FNXqzI
— ☪️????????save the planet please???? (@politikalywrong) October 27, 2020
“The numbers are growing but we still have excess (hospital bed) capacity. This lockdown was to get us to this point where we feel there is a balance; that there are infections but also hospitals with spare capacity.”
“And beyond that, we’ve learnt a lot on how to treat the symptoms of the virus. So it’s really not that.”
Our Communist government in South Africa are talking a 2nd full lockdown, we already bankrupt as a country and from Feb we still under a lockdown, Not as strict anymore but also not fully open.
Then Again SA is owned by the Chinese, UN, WHO and NWO.
— Sharks forever (@Sharks_lover1) October 27, 2020
He said he was “no witchdoctor”, but assured that a strict lockdown is not on the cards.
However, the rumours may have stemmed from KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala’s announcement on Sunday that a hard lockdown was planned for the country, unless the amount of daily Covid-19 cases decreased.
The Premier said the “largely care-free attitude” displayed by some citizens of the province since the move to lockdown alert Level 1 was of concern.
He said despite warning about a possible second wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths, it seemed people had now thrown all caution to the wind – wearing no masks, not sanitising their hands and not maintaining physical distancing.
“If you didn’t know, you’d swear there was no Covid-19 lurking; let alone the fact we are still under a national lockdown.”
A second wave of infections has gripped some parts of Europe, with hard lockdowns either enforced again, or proposed.
At least you can still have beer. If we go back to hard lockdown here in South Africa, we have no alcohol or even cigarettes!
— Lana Labuschagne (@Lanalab) October 27, 2020
Globally, there are 43.5 million cases of Covid-19, 29.2 million recoveries, and 1.16 million reported deaths.
South Africa has a total of 716 759 positive cases, 646 721 recoveries, 19 008 total deaths and 891 new cases as of yesterday.
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) October 26, 2020
More than four million Covid-19 tests have been conducted.
Additional reporting by News24 Wire.