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Premier and Health Dept have powers to tighten lockdown levels in at-risk areas

24 April 2020 11:21 AM

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has the authority to intensify the lockdown levels applicable in the province, districts, and metro.

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced five levels of the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa.

Ramaphosa said there would be a transition between the levels, where necessary.

South Africa will move to level 4 from Friday, 1 May.

However, there will be a national level and separate levels for each province, district, and metro in the country.

The levels will depend on the spread of the virus and how equipped the health system is in any given area.

Premier Winde says he has the authority to intensify the restrictions, but he does not have the authority to ease them.

Premiers and the Health Department have now got the power to change the levels upwards. Not downwards, but upwards.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

If the president announces level 3, we could still be on level 4 in the city or we could even push it to level 5 if we see that the infection rate is not coming down and we're not managing it.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

In August, we're getting to our peak and we've got huge risks in the health system at that peak. If we see that we are now increasing too fast and are actually going to go way above it, we're going to have to move to level 5.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

Winde explains that he can also tighten the level of restrictions applicable to various economic sectors if strict health and safety protocols aren't followed.

If we see that certain sectors are not managing properly, then we're going to have to say 'This sector will move from level 3 to level 4, or even level 5.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

RELATED: Western Cape Covid-19 cases will climb to 80,000 according to latest projections

He says it's important to slow down the peak of Covid-19 in the province, which has now recorded the highest cases and deaths in South Africa.

Winde says the increase in Covid-19 cases is a result of the province's targeted testing strategy.

Health authorities will be geomapping cases and building a live dashboard of infections in the province, he adds.

Winde warns that the elderly and people with comorbidities need to remain at level 5, even if the people around them aren't.

Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape Health Department, says his department will be advising the Premier on his decision-making.

Dr Cloete says his team will report on the growth of cases in certain geographic areas and the growth of cases in specific sectors to help inform what level should be applied.

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:


24 April 2020 11:21 AM

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