Mkhize said he was aware that there Is more work to be done to stem the tide of the current rise in the number of the coronavirus pandemic cases.
“We expect that a lot of work will be done by South Africans to contain these infections. These are still very early days,” Mkhize said.
He admitted that the country needed to beef up its response to curb the spread of the outbreak – thus the lockdown which is expected to stop the onslaught.
The health system is working to expand the country’s coronavirus testing capacity and develop a plan to ensure there are enough intensive care beds with respirators, Mkhize said.
The increase comes two days before South Africa embarks on a twenty-one-day lockdown on Thursday when the entire population is required to remain indoors – except for essential service workers and those undergoing special circumstances tasks.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown on Monday as a follow-up to his declaration of a “state of national disaster” last week.
The three-week lockdown, to be reinforced by the police with the assistance from the army, is aimed at curbing the current increase in coronavirus cases, Ramaphosa said.