'Strong indication' all regions in KZN will move to level 3, says Zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala at a media briefing in Mayville, Durban, on Sunday
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala at a media briefing in Mayville, Durban, on Sunday
Image: KZN gov

KwaZulu-Natal is preparing to downgrade to level 3 lockdown.

This was revealed by premier Sihle Zikalala who, together with health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, addressed the media in Durban on Sunday.

Zikalala said level 3 meant more business sectors would open and that the use of public transport was expected to increase — something that requires a vigilant and focused approach and accountability by all.

“There are strong indications that as KwaZulu-Natal all our regions may move to level 3. However there is a caveat, in order for that to happen and remain that way, everyone will have to comply with all the non-pharmaceutical approaches to preventing infections.” 

He said key guidelines and conditions would need to be implemented under level 3. These included:  

• Everyone will need to wear a mask when venturing out in public.

• High risk regions in terms of the risk and vulnerability analysis in the province must be strongly examined before the end of May 2020.

• Level 3 comes with a lot of movements including interprovincial travel, meaning that rural areas where many elders live may start to be exposed to the virus.

• All businesses, government facilities, and municipalities have to be sanitised; there must be proof that social distancing can occur in the place of work and in public; sanitisation and handwashing facilities for consumers and staff must be available.

Zikalala said as of Saturday the province had recorded 17 new cases of Covid-19 but no new deaths from the disease.

“The province is currently as of today sitting at 10% in terms of active cases and has moved down to fourth position (highest) countrywide.

“iLembe district is starting to have more cases per 100,000 infected people if you consider its population size — a trend we are worried about and working to stop.”

He said the spread in eThekwini — the epicentre of the outbreak in the province — iLembe and Umgungundlovu were being closely monitored.

Zikalala said there were 198 new recoveries from last week with 806 people having recovered from Covid-19 in the province.

He revealed that the Inanda Community Health Centre, north of Durban, had been closed this week after four nurses and one doctor tested positive.

“The department of health took a decision to close the facility. This was done as a safety precaution, and to allow for the decontamination of the facility, in accordance with established protocols.”

He said all employees have since been tested for Covid-19 and their results are being conveyed to them on a continuous basis.

“So far, there have been no new positive cases from the facility.”

He added that the General Gizenga Mpanza Regional Hospital in KwaDukuza would open on May 18, after the hospital was temporarily closed after the positive testing of nine mothers, 42 staff members, babies and hospital staff.

Simelane-Zulu said the intention of the lockdown was to reduce infections, but more so to allow government to prepare for the peak of infections.

She said the Cuban doctors would arrive in province on Sunday but would only be deployed to various areas in the province later in the week.

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