Health Minister Zweli Mkhize published the criteria that will guide the determination of alert levels in the Government Gazette on Friday 7 August.
According to the gazetted criteria which came into effect upon publication, “the Ministerial Advisory Committee must advise the Minister of Health regarding which alert level should be declared nationally, provincially, in a metropolitan area or district.”
It also asserts that ‘Alert Level 2’ indicates a moderate Covid -19 spread with a high health system readiness.
The Western Cape Government has asserted for a few weeks that there is sufficient capacity in the Health System. The Covid-19 positivity rate has also declined over the last few weeks.
Winde says he welcomes the confirmation that alert levels could be determined at a provincial, metro or district level.
“The Western Cape cabinet on Friday took the position that businesses which can open safely should be allowed to do so, and that the alcohol ban should be lifted, in conjunction with the implementation of smart measures aimed at reducing alcohol harms.
We have written to both Minister Mkhize and Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to request a meeting where we will put forward these positions as it is imperative that we take decisive and immediate action to prevent an unemployment pandemic and further economic calamity. I will also be attending the President’s Coordinating Council meeting on Saturday where I hope to have the opportunity to raise these issues.”
In the Western Cape, there has been a steady and sustained decline in the number of hospitalisations, with current numbers sitting below 1200.
Winde says the Western Cape has passed its peak and currently has adequate platform capacity, to the extent that the MSF field hospital in Khayelitsha is in the process of closing.
“We urge the Ministerial Advisory Committee to consider all of this information when making their recommendations.
I also urge all of our residents to continue to take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones to ensure that we are able to maintain the declines we have seen in infection numbers, deaths and hospitalisations. Working together we can ensure that we balance the need to slow the spread of COVID-19 with the need to safely open our economy and protect the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Western Cape residents.