Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
“We are moving forward with confidence, backed by science, which told us it would not be worth extending the lockdown, as it would not have an effect on the inevitable laws of epidemiology.
“We must ensure that as the virus spreads, we are able to contain the curve. But as we open the economy, sustaining this requires a commitment to the goals of achieving UHC (universal health coverage) and shifting emphasis from regulation and law enforcement to social compacting for mass buy in and compliance,” he said.
South Africa’s hospitalisation and mortality rates are some of the lowest in the world, and the recovery rate is higher than the global average. “Although the threat of the system being overcome by the virus lingers, it has not yet manifested. We have had to implement drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus and we have had to regulate and at times enforce the regulations.
We made the necessary sacrifices amidst already murky economic conditions. We are faced with little choice but to open the economy, despite the rising numbers.
He said it will not help to save people from Covid-19, only for them to succumb to hunger, and the virus had compelled government to invest R20bn in health and R500bn in socio-economic relief.
“This is the most stark evidence that disinvestment in health is disinvestment in the entire economy,” the minister said.