There is still no word from Cabinet on when South Africa’s Level 3 lockdown period will end despite the country’s Covid-19 transmissions seeing “promising” signs of decline as indicated by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma previously revealed that it was difficult to give certainty on how long Covid-19 lockdown regulations will last.
This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation last week Monday, where he extended the country’s Level 3 lockdown period until 15 February, which has been gazetted by Dlamini-Zuma.
Cabinet held a meeting on Tuesday, 19 January, to discuss the progress report from the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) following the 23% decrease in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous seven days as of Sunday.
According to spokesperson Phumla Williams, Cabinet was briefed on the rate of infections in the country and oversight work being conducted by the Department of Health.
“Though still early, Cabinet appreciated the downward trend of infections across the provinces, with the exception of the Free State and Northern Cape,” Williams said in a statement.
Williams noted that Cabinet also discussed matters on the national Covid-19 vaccine roll-out programme.
“The roll out programme entails procurement, distribution, actual vaccination, monitoring, communication and mobilisation,” she said.
On Monday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen threatened to approach court if Ramaphosa failed to reply to the letter in seven days on how the government intends to manage the vaccination programme.
Meanwhile, Williams further said that Cabinet approved the setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on vaccination, which will be chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.
The committee will assist with the quick decision-making from all the relevant departments in effort to ensure a smooth roll-out of the vaccination programme.
“The IMC will meet weekly to receive reports and intervene in unlocking any challenges that may be encountered during the implementation. President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair its first inaugural meeting,” Williams added.
South Africa’s health care system continues to experience significant strain with hospitalisations, while more than 40 million citizens are targeted for being vaccinated.