Lockdown: Gauteng to move to alert level 3

Despite having the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases, Gauteng will move to alert level 3 of lockdown in June, as announced by Premier David Makhura 

Speaking at the first virtual House sitting on 19 May 2020, of the Provincial Legislature, Makhura said that Gauteng "will go to Level 3 at the beginning of June"

He added that the effects of the lockdown on the economy and the risk of having disjointed provincial restrictions were a concern and as a result, the province would be moving to Level 3 with the rest of the country, while the Western Cape remains poised to stay on Level 4 restrictions.

“We cannot have a lockdown at this level for long,” he said. 

“We are meeting with various sectors of the economy tomorrow. We want to move to Level 3 in a more cautious way, balancing health and economy is imperative.”

He said that due to the integrated nature of the Gauteng metro's you couldn't have one municipality on Level 3 or 2, while another remained on Level 4.

Testing remains crucial

Makhura said that while moving down to Level 3, townships will be targeted for screening and testing as most new cases that are arising in the province are coming from informal settlements. 

“In the next two months a lot of our testing, tracing, and isolating will be in the townships because suburbs have more recoveries now and fewer active cases. While townships have new confirmed cases.”

While he acknowledges that there was still more to do to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained, he remains confident that testing, screening and, tracing measures are, and will, remain a vital part of the plan. 

“The rate of infection is low, the numbers are still low but we know that COVID-19 spreads through cluster infection. We’re directing a lot of our resources there to test, trace, treat, and isolate.”

“We still have to climb the mountain of the peak. The peak is ahead of us, it may come in July or August or September. 

“Various models suggest that it is coming. We’re ready for the worst of times in expanding the capacity of our health services by employing more health officials and building officials. We have also been looking at the old Kempton Park hospital to see how we can utilize that,” he said.

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