Is Malema on the nose? EFF leader suggests Level 1 lockdown imminent
After Ramaphosa announced that lockdown changes are incoming, Julius Malema has predicted that the country will move to Level 1 imminently.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Julius Malema has offered a cheeky prediction that South Africa may soon downgrade lockdown regulations to Level 1, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having announced on Friday that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will review our current lockdown restrictions ‘imminently’.
SA is currently operating at the Adjusted Level 3 phase, but the President may be gathering us for another “family meeting” in the not so distant future.
Malema ‘smells’ relaxed regulations
Malema said on Sunday that the sweet smell of eased restrictions was in the air, posting a tweet that offered his supporters optimism that the current restrictions, which have been adjusted several times since the country was moved back to Level 3 lockdown in December 2020 may soon be relaxed.
“I can smell Level 1,” he posted, with an accompanying nose emoji.
COVID-19 cases have been consistently below the 2 000 mark over the last month, with cases having soared in December and January as the country battled its second wave of infections. The latest figures released by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday 27 February reported that 1 447 new cases had been detected in the past 24-hours, and that over the same period a further 157 people had died from COVID-19 related illnesses.
The recovery rate currently stands at around 94%, and this, coupled with the successful reduction of daily infections, has led many – including the NCCC – to review the current regulations and consider further opening South Africa’s ailing economy.
Ramaphosa: Announcement on regulations expected ‘shortly’
Ramaphosa said on Friday 26 February while fielding questions from journalists at a SANEF event that whatever decisions are taken will be based on the advise of SA’s epidemiologists and disease experts.
“Opting to keep the country under lockdown Level 3 is guided purely by science,” he said. “Epidemiologists and geneticists are helping us with our policies. All decisions we make are based on well-tested information.”
He did warn that with the Easter period approaching, there remains the need to exercise caution and not allow infection rates to spike again as families and friends convene for the first holiday period of 2021.
“As we speak, the infection rate is coming down. It does require us to re-examine exactly where we are,” he said.
“Shortly, we will give an announcement on how we manage the pandemic going forward. In doing so, we must consider certain indicators. There are a lot of moving parts to consider, with the Easter season coming up – people will gather in large numbers.”