Get the latest information on the political landscape, entertainment updates, and health sector in South Africa with this Gikuyu Bulletin highlight for February!
As has been noted, we continue to work to better understand the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continue to receive new data. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
SUNDAY, 3 February 2020
There have been some further developments in the national response to COVID-19, with the following announcement:
The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, announced on Sunday, 3 February 2020, that the National Health Emergency Committee (NHEC) had approved the emergency phase 4 for South Africa, which will remain in place until 31 March 2020.
This follows a meeting of the NHEC, chaired by Dr Mkhize, on Saturday, 2 February 2020.
In a statement, Dr Mkhize said:
“The National Health Emergency Committee (NHEC) has today approved the emergency phase 4 for South Africa. This decision is in line with the recommendations of the Interim Strategic Review of the COVID-19 National Health Emergency, which was released on 17 January 2020.
“In the past 48 hours, there has been a significant increase in confirmed cases in the Western Cape. There is also a significant increase in cases in the Free State and Gauteng.
For instance, in Gauteng, there are now 931 confirmed cases, compared to 824 cases in Gauteng on Friday, 2 February 2020.
“We are concerned that we are approaching the peak of the epidemic, and this has become evident in the number of confirmed cases. It is therefore important that we act decisively, in line with the National Strategic Plan to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish to reassure all South Africans that we are taking this matter very seriously.
“In the coming days, we will be increasing the number of contact tracers in the country, and we will be ramping up our testing and tracing activities. We will also be engaging with the community to explain the steps we are taking to contain the virus and protect the community.”
South Africa has been placed in phase 4 of the COVID-19 National Health Emergency.
As per the phase guidelines, phase 4 is a time when a country’s government and the public health system are working together to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable.
In South Africa, phase 4 will see the following measures being implemented:
1. All schools will be closed until further notice.
2. The government will continue to enforce strict movement restrictions, with only essential workers permitted to move about.
3. The government will continue to enforce strict social distancing measures, including:
– Home confinement for the elderly, sick and vulnerable;
– Self-isolation for those who have come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
– A strict and comprehensive ban on all public gatherings, including religious and cultural events;
– A strict and comprehensive ban on all gatherings, including public meetings and rallies;
– A strict and comprehensive ban on public gatherings of more than five people;
– The closure of all public spaces, including public transport, shopping centres and malls, cinemas, theatres and restaurants;
– The closure of all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, shops, banks, petrol stations, etc.