Coronavirus still spreading in communities - Mkhize

The health minister says the coronavirus is still spreading in communities.
The health minister says the coronavirus is still spreading in communities.
Image: 123RF / maridav

Coronavirus is still spreading in the country as people are not adhering to the lockdown regulations. Health minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday night revealed that their analysis of the infection rate showed that the virus was still spreading.

He said his biggest concern was that people were not heeding the call to stay at home and were therefore impeding the government’s fight against the spread of the virus.

“And as we sit right now, we analyse various areas, we can see that the infection is still spreading and that is because people are not staying at home and that’s the message we always need to emphasise,” Mkhize said.

He attributed the failure for people to stay at home to a number of factors including boredom, not being directly affected by the virus as well as the need to find means to get food. Mkhize said that communities in the country are set up in a way that a lot of people have to go to towns in order to make money and get food.

“Sometimes people take a long while to adjust to an environment where all they have is just a message and they don’t have their own personal experience about it. But I think it’s going to be something that people will soon be understanding as the messages are getting more and more and they also begin to know of people who are affected,” Mkhize said.

The nationwide lockdown has now been in effect for over three weeks and is expected continue until end of April. Chairperson of the government’s advisory committee on Covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim said the decision on when the lockdown will end depends on the spread of the virus slowing down.

Karim last week said if the rate of new daily infection is kept between 45 and 89 then there was a likelihood of the lockdown being eased or lifted. He however said if the infection rate is over 90 by April 18 (yesterday) then it would mean there would be a need for an extension.

Mkhize revealed that the number of new daily infection climbed to 251 yesterday taking the total number of infections in the country to 3,034.

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