The South African government has approved the extension of the national state of disaster until the 15th of October.
The extension of the national state of disaster will allow for the management of the spread of Covid-19 by maintaining certain restrictions including the wearing of masks, social distancing among other measures.
The government first declared a national state of disaster on 15 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the state of disaster was originally set to lapse on 15 June, the Disaster Management Act allows for an extension by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister for a month at a time before it lapses.
Despite the extension of the sate of disaster expectations are that President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce a move to alert level 1 soon.
This as the country has seen a drop in the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks and the recovery rate has increased to 87%.
Furthermore, the number of people requiring admission in hospitals, and the demand for COVID-19 tests has dropped.
In an interview on Radio Islam this week, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize revealed that the government has been engaged in discussions around a further opening up of the economy.
“The president will come out in the next few days and give us a sense of direction, but we will be preparing for people to start easing to the next level. When that has been announced we will, of course, move onto that level, but it has not been decided yet,” he said.
Level 1 lockdown may see restrictions on the following economic sectors being lifted:
- International passenger air travel for leisure purposes;
- Passenger ships for international leisure purposes;
- Attendance of any sporting event by spectators;
- International sports events;
- Night clubs;
- Reopening of borders
Moreover, according to Business Tech, during a virtual forum with the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) President Ramaphosa said one of the requests he received was from religious leaders, specifically around extending the number of people who may attend gatherings.