Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has emphasised the importance of masks and maintaining social distancing under level one lockdown restrictions, saying that people cannot grow complacent.
South Africa moved to level 1 of its phased lockdown restrictions plan yesterday, which President Ramaphosa says will become the “new normal” in terms of the country’s post-COVID-19 status quo. Among other things, curfews have been reduced to the hours between midnight and 4am, but people will still be mandated to wear masks when going out in public.
Winde, whose province was initially the worst affected in the country by far, has now said that the next 100 days will be critical for economic recovery and will require people to continue observing social distancing and hygiene protocols.
“It’s really about getting our economy back up and running. It’s called the relaxation of those levels but we must not relax our attitude towards masking and social distancing etc,” Winde told eNCA.
Winde added that failing to wear masks and follow other necessary protocols could result in a second wave of infections, as it has in other countries around the world. He emphasised how important it is for the people of the Western Cape to avoid repeating the devastation of the last six months.
“We must learn from other parts of the world. They’ve got second waves, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a really great summer season because then we’ll be able to get our jobs back that we’ve lost but we’ll have to do it safely,” he added.
Winde also said that the provincial response to the pandemic will continue in the form of monitoring trends and cluster outbreaks.