President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday evening that South Africa had scaled through COVID-19’s “fierce and destructive storm,” as he announced a move to alert level one.
“With the further progress we’ve made as infections have come down, we are now ready for a replacement introduce our response to the pandemic,” said Ramaphosa.
“It is time to maneuver what is going to become our new normal… it’s now time to get rid of as many of the remaining restrictions on economic and social acitivy as is fairly safe to try to to .”
After getting advice from different stakeholders, “cabinet decided this morning that the country should now move to level one.”
The alert level one takes effect from Sunday midnight, September 20.
“Even as restrictions have eased… there has been a gradual but steady decline in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths… we’ve succeeded in overcoming the worst phase of this pandemic,” the president said in his address to the state .
But the president warned that “by any measure, we are still within the midst of a deadly epidemic.”
It was a breakthrough that South Africa didn’t get hit by a second surge in infections.
“We want to avoid that,” said Ramaphosa.
This is the rationale there would be an expansion of COVID-19 testing criteria.
“Due to the decline in new infections… We now have sufficient testing capacity to expand the standards for testing.”