World Health told us to move to Level 1, Ramaphosa

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World Health told us to move to Level 1, Ramaphosa
CAUTIOUS: President Cyril Ramaphosa says despite advice from WHO scientists to move the Lockdown to level 1, government decided to do it through a gradual process. PICTURE BY GCIS

He said they felt they should move bit by bit as opposed to rushing…


President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed that scientists from the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised them to ease the lockdown quickly, from from level 4 to level 1 but as a country preferred not to choose this route.

He said the government chose to take it one step at a time – from level 4 to level 3.

President Ramaphosa said that scientists who are advising government on the response to the coronavirus crisis recommended that South Africa could move to Level 1 of the nationwide lockdown, as it had become a “blunt tool” in curbing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

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Ramaphosa spoke on Sunday 31 May 2020 to a group of news editors in through a video stream.

The editors are represented by the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF).

Ramaphosa said the country is being advised by WHO scientists and were the ones “who continue to lead our effort in all of this”.

The lockdown moved to level 3 as from 1 June 2020 – which will see all productive sectors of the economy re-opened with millions returning to work and booze being allowed to be sold from the counter from Monday to Thursday, only for home consumption. Cigarettes are still banned and issues of social distancing, the use of sanitisers and wearing of masks still remain… 

“Rather than rush quickly to level 1, as advised through scientists, we said, let’s go to level 3 and gradually move to Level 2. This will also help give us time to be more ready throughout the country,” the President said. 

He said they have been taking very good advise from scientists – most of which has assisted the country try contain the spread of the SARS-COV2 disease.

“They advised us that we needed to impose a lockdown, which we did,” he said.

“They said it will help flatten the curve of the infections, and with that we will have sufficient time to prepare ourselves, to prepare our healthcare system, to prepare our tools to be able to deal with the spike that is to follow,” he told the editors.

“They also said once we went through level 5 and level 4 the lockdown had served its purpose. In fact what they were also advising was that you could quite easily go to Level 1,” Ramaphosa said. 

The lockdown was a “blunt instrument” , and had served its intended purpose, giving positive meaning to efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“This will also help give us time to be more ready throughout the country,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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