KZN premier warns of return to hard lockdown if 'reckless' behaviour continues
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala has warned that another hard lockdown could be imminent if people did not change their reckless behaviour.
Zikalala made the statement during a media briefing on Sunday.
He said the provincial government was “deeply bothered by the largely carefree attitude that has been displayed by some citizens of this province, particularly since our downgrading to lockdown level 1.
“Despite our warnings about tangible examples of a second wave of infections and deaths, it seems many people have thrown all caution to the wind and gone back to their old ways.”
He said many people have stopped wearing masks, sanitising their hands and adhering to social distancing.
“In many instances, 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.
“Looking at the statistics around us, we can safely say we are definitely going back into a hard lockdown if there is no urgent and drastic change in behaviour,” he said.
Zikalala warned that a second wave of Covid-19 infections could be “stronger and deadlier not only in terms of taking human lives, it could deal our economy a major blow”.
“It is something all right-thinking citizens should be doing everything possible to avoid.
“In this regard, we call upon the business community, particularly those who are in the food and hospitality sector and elsewhere, to ensure there is strict adherence to level 1 lockdown regulations.
“There is no use in chasing profits today, only to be shut down by a hard lockdown tomorrow,” said Zikalala.
He also issued a warning to liquor outlets.
“We want to warn liquor outlets which do not abide by the national lockdown regulations that we’re coming for them.
“Alcohol is usually a major contributing factor to road crashes and other social ills such as gender-based violence and interpersonal conflicts, which often turn fatal.
“Reckless trading in alcohol therefore has the potential to derail all the progress we have made in preparing our healthcare systems for a potential onslaught of Covid-19.
“Failure to adhere to the restrictions is an affront to the state, and undermines the progress we have made. We want to warn those posting pictures of themselves without wearing masks in liquor outlets that they will face the music, together with owners of these establishments.”
LISTEN | Expect a resurgence — but another lockdown won't help, says Prof Shabir Madhi