Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned of another hard lockdown to curb the pandemic.

HEALTH minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned of the possibility of a hard lockdown as the country prepares for a spike in coronavirus cases and related deaths.

On Tuesday, 158 more people died in South Africa after being infected with coronavirus, bringing the national toll to 2,657.

Mkhize also announced 6,945 new infections were picked up over the past 24-hour cycle pushing the cumulative number of cases over the 150,000 mark.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702, Mkhize said things were “getting tough” and another hard lockdown may become necessary to curb the pandemic.

“I wish I could say otherwise. We have warned that the surge will come, [especially] in the winter months. I’m afraid the numbers are increasing and we need people to be aware and take all the necessary precautions to try and protect ourselves,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize said hypertension and diabetes are the two most common comorbidities among people admitted to a healthcare facility with COVID-19.

“We could not sustain the lockdown the way it was. We needed people to get back to their jobs and for the economy to be revived. We needed to do that under new circumstances where we use masks, social distance and sanitize our hands,” said Mkhize.

“There has not been any decision taken (to have another lockdown) and certainly the NCCC does not take lightly a decision of that nature. There may be need in some areas for restrictions, it may not be national but localised. But no such decision has been taken as yet.”

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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