Image via: Gallo
Image via: Gallo
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, in clarifying government’s measures to battle the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday 24 March, said it was impossible to give a time estimate of when this will all be over.
Following President Cyril Ramaophosa’s address on Monday evening in which a 21-day national lockdown was announced, South Africans want to know how long will we need to adhere to the overwhelming list of precautionary measures?
The lockdown is expected to start at midnight on Thursday 26 March and end at midnight on 16 April. All South Africans are expected to stay at home during this period.
When asked how long South Africa, and the rest of the world for that matter, will be battling the coronavirus, Mkhize said it is not possible to provide a prediction or an accurate one at that.
“I don’t think anyone can ever tell us that,” he said in Pretoria.
Mkhize said the only thing he’s sure of, is that the number of confirmed cases in the country will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
“The numbers will go up in the next week or two,” he said.
He also said that just because a lockdown will be enforced from Friday, does not mean that there will be no more confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Mkhize said there are factors that must be taken into consideration — whether there is a lockdown or not.
“Human behaviour, human conduct and conduct of the virus [coronavirus] are contributing factors,” he added.
When asked whether other countries would be helping South Africa in its fight against the coronavirus, Mkhize said they have been taking lessons from other countries, such as China and Italy.
He also said China, India and Germany have offered their assistance.
“They are willing to help us with products and with their own experience [of coronavirus],” said Mkhize.
Mkhize said the Health Department cannot confirm whether we have enough medical supplies or not at this stage.
“It depends how far it [coronavirus] goes as to whether we have enough supplies,” said Mkhize.
He did, however, add that public and private entities have offered their facilities if the need arises.
Mkhize, in closing, said that South Africans need to stick together, work hard and avoid fake news to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and “flatten the curve” so to speak.