Professor Salim Abdool Karim said in a media briefing that South Africa runs the risk of undoing the effort and benefit achieved if the lockdown is ended abruptly.
Professor Karim, who is the COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee chairperson, continued to say there is a possibility that the lockdown will be extended even longer.
The professor added that should the average number of daily cases be 90 or more between 10-16 April, then the lockdown needs to continue.
However, Karim confirmed that daily infections stopped increasing exponentially since the lockdown, saying that South Africa’s curve is different from other countries, with new quicker and simpler diagnostics becoming available.
He says a systematic plan is crucial for the easing of the lockdown.
“We know if we end the lockdown and we end it abruptly, we may run the risk of undoing all of the effort and the benefit we have achieved,” Karim said.
“Because then we would be putting high risk and low-risk people together travelling in the same busses, taxis and trains. We have to avoid that situation, we have to plan for a systematic easing of the lockdown, starting with transport hubs then working our way down from the lowest to highest risk.”