Covid-19 cases in South Africa surpasses 32,000 a day before all economic sectors reopen
London, June 1, 2020 (AltAfrica)-On the eve of South Africa moving to lockdown alert level 3, the Health Department said on Sunday that the number of positive Covid-19 cases has risen to 32 683, with 1 716 new cases reported from the last 24-hour testing cycle.
The country recorded another 40 Covid-19-related deaths which brings the total of Covid-19 deaths to 683. There have also been 16 809 recoveries to date, which translates to a recovery rate of 51.4%.
South Africa move to Level 3 of lockdown on Monday will see the re-opening of all economic sectors except those considered high risk. All retail outlets will be open with stringent health protocols in place.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has also announced the regulations governing domestic air travel when the country moves to level 3 of the national lockdown on June 1.
In a surprise move, Mbalula has announced that aircraft wil be allowed to carry their full capacity.
He said that the risk Covid-19 infection onboard an aircraft is significantly reduced because of the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters all aircraft are fitted with. The filters, Mbalula said, had a 99.97% efficacy in “removing viruses”.
In his briefing on Saturday, Mbalula said the rollout of domestic flights will be done in three phases, and that the number of flights per day would be restricted. The scheduling of flights will also be guided by the availability of port health services at the various airports.
Mbalula said his department is doing everything in its power to ensure that, in the process of opening up the transport sector, they are not responsible for an increase in Covid-19 infections.
“As the country moves to level 3, with more industries resuming operations, learners returning to school, the transport sector must be responsive to enable mobility of both workers and learners,” Mbalula said.
From Monday (Today) Places of worship will also be open with restricted numbers.
The ban on the sale of alcohol has also been lifted.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize extended condolences to the loved ones of the departed.
He also thanked the health care workers who have been treating Covid-19 patients.
In the coronavirus hotspots announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Justice Cluster will conduct patrols, roadblocks, and vehicle check points.
The South African Police, SANDF and local law enforcement authorities will work together to control movement in these areas.