Home South African Current Covid situation in SA could allow for more relaxed restrictions

Current Covid situation in SA could allow for more relaxed restrictions

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Due to the country’s low Covid-19 infection rates, SA could soon see further relaxed restrictions, which may include the scrapping of outdoor mask-wearing.

File pictutre: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

FOR OVER five months, South Africa has been in lockdown alert Level 1. However, due to low infection rates, the country could soon see further relaxed restrictions, which may include the scrapping of outdoor mask-wearing.

Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale told Independent Media that the current set of restrictions could soon be revised as the department will table recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) this week.

“The current situation allows for relaxed restrictions or regulations as part of efforts by government to open the economy. However, this doesn’t replace vaccination because we continue to live with this deadly pandemic,” he said.

Mohale said indicators show the country has a low infection rate, low mortality rate, a high recovery rate and there is reduced pressure for health-care workers.

On Monday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 801 new Covid-19 cases, which represents a 5.5% positivity rate.

“We urge people to vaccinate in numbers to boost their immunity against the virus,” he said.

March 26 will mark two years since the first Covid-19 restrictions were implemented in South Africa during the hard lockdown. Some experts have suggested that some restrictions could be lifted.

Speaking to eNCA over the weekend, epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim said the country is at a point where mask-wearing and sanitising can be dropped.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a press release the current Covid-19 restrictions are doing more harm than good as they are restricting the country’s social and economic recovery.

“In South Africa, it is still the law to wear masks in public, including in schools, where they are a barrier to learning and a source of discomfort. In most countries, masks are only mandated in specific high-risk contexts. The requirement to wear masks outdoors is particularly irrational,” he said.

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