Health minister Zweli Mkhize has warned South Africans that they will need to review the current lockdown restrictions as COVID-19 infections spike.
On 23 December, South Africa reported 14,046 new COVID-19 cases – the highest daily increase since the pandemic hit the country.
Mkhize further announced 411 COVID-19 related deaths, which takes the total number of deaths to 25,657. The hardest-hit provinces in the second wave are the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal.
Mkhize said that all provinces, with the exception of the Eastern Cape, continue to report an increase in their number of cases.
He added that the coronavirus continues to spread exponentially and that the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave.
We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread,” he said.
It will be important for us to evaluate the situation, identify hotspots in these areas and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far,” Mkhize said.
We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year.
“COVID-19 is unrelenting and we, therefore, cannot afford to be complacent at this stage,” Mkhize said.
“We urge all South Africans to adhere to the regulations and recommendations pertaining to the National State of Disaster, avoid large gatherings and congested environments.
He added that people should ensure adequate ventilation in venues where they gather and vigilantly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions, like wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitisation.