Picture: 123RF/HANDMADEPICTURES
Picture: 123RF/HANDMADEPICTURES

Western Cape premier Alan Winde has urged the national government to ease the province’s lockdown to level 1 and repeated his call for an end to the national state of disaster, saying it was unsustainable.

Further easing of restrictions would give the economy a much-needed boost and save lives and jobs in the province, said Winde.

“It is simply not justifiable to impose restrictions on the economy, especially at a time when we are facing a terrifying unemployment crisis, and when the data clearly demonstrates that our healthcare platform has more than adequate capacity to respond,” he said. “These restrictions must therefore be relaxed as soon as possible.”

Winde cited a drop in infection rates, hospitalisations, deaths, the test positivity rate and oxygen usage as reasons to ease the restrictions in the province.

“The seven-day moving average for new cases in the Western Cape is 620. We know that we will have officially exited the third wave, in terms of the technical definition, once new infections are at 15% of the peak or 530 cases,” he said. “We are quickly approaching this number. All our other indicators also continue to show a significant decline, including in hospitalisations, deaths, our test positivity rate and oxygen usage,” Winde added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced SA’s move to alert level 2 during a national address two weeks ago, and said the government would review the restrictions after two weeks.

“He [Ramaphosa] said 14 days after moving to level 2 we should be there. We're just about there. We need to move to level 1,” said Winde. 

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