Johannesburg – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was in a defensive mode on Tuesday night during a marathon press briefing, dismissing criticism over early projection models, surveys showing support for the Covid-19 lockdown had waned and the arrival of over 200 Cuban doctors this week.
The minister gave a clear analysis, supporting the lockdown, highlighting that it had pushed back the peak infection rate of Covid-19 to September.
“The issue is when we started with the lockdown we wanted to slow down the viral infection. To suddenly open without putting in place the necessary mechanisms for limiting the spread… if you just go back to normal, we are actually going to go to an early explosion, which means you can have a rebound of infections quite early,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize added that modelling had shown that extending the lockdown further would not have a substantial benefit on pushing the peak of the infection curve further back.
“The nature of the spread of the infection has not stopped completely because of the lockdown,” Mkhize added.