Lockdown: Calls for a return to Level 5 intensify as new infections soar

As daily deaths increased by over 100 on Wednesday, South Africans were made to confront the grim reality of this coronavirus crisis. The health minister Zweli Mkhize – who earlier said this week that SA was heading for a 'devastating storm' – also revealed that 5 688 new cases were registered in just 24 hours. The frightening figures have proved too much for some people, who now seek a return to lockdown Level 5.

Wednesday marks the biggest single-day increase for cases since COVID-19 was first detected in South Africa. A total of 2 205 people have died since March, and the government is continuing to ease its lockdown restrictions despite the rising tallies. However, one mayor isn't willing to follow the current regulations.

Ekurheleni Mayor suggests 'localised Level 5 lockdown

Ekurhuleni's incumbent, Mzwandile Masina, says that the city must now act 'like they are in Level 5 of lockdown'. He's advised people to stay at home as much as possible, avoiding contact with anyone else:

"These numbers suggest we must implement our own family Level 5 lockdown. Please good people if you can stay at home, do so and avoid places with lots of people. Social distancing, Masks, sanitize and most importantly avoid contacts where possible."Mzwandile Masina

Social media has its say

  1. Similar sentiments were expressed on Twitter:

The lockdown hasn't ended. Coronavirus cases are rising at a fast rate now. Yes, more places are open and this means we need to be that much more careful!! Too many think it's open season now when we have more cases & deaths than we did at level 5.— Siphumelele Zondi (@SZondi) June 25, 2020

@CyrilRamaphosa @PresidencyZA /\r\n/Can we kindly please go back to level 5?— #ChekaSPACE🔥🔥 (@CoolGee_rsa) June 25, 2020

Will South Africa go back to Level 5 of lockdown?

It's unlikely that the government will revert to the hardest form of lockdown again. To shut down businesses only weeks after reopening them would cripple an economy that's already on its last legs. The whole point of a hard lockdown is to 'flatten the infection curve' and prepare health care facilities for an uptick in patients.

Now that has been achieved, the government will have less motivation to take a step backwards. South Africa is heading towards an imminent peak, and the numbers are sure to be grim for the next few weeks ahead.