Home South African Govt advisory committee calls for tighter lockdown restrictions over Easter

Govt advisory committee calls for tighter lockdown restrictions over Easter

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Are we going back to Level 2? This seems to be the question on everyone’s lips after word that the Ministerial Advisory Committee advised stricter regulations be implemented over Easter.

It’s been a year since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would go into a countrywide lockdown. File picture

THE MINISTERIAL Advisory Committee on Covid-19 has recommended that government impose tighter lockdown restrictions for the upcoming Easter long weekend.

Speaking to eNCA, the chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19, Professor Barry Schoub, said the committee had advised the government to implement tougher restrictions in a bid to stem the tide of the coronavirus third wave hitting South Africa.

He said the tighter restrictions would be temporary and should be quickly lifted after Easter.

“This is a sensitive period of the Easter weekend where there is the vulnerability and the chance of the risk that we could have a super-spreading event, with all the festivities and activities that go with the Easter long weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time,” he said

On March 23 last year President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would go into a lockdown in a bid to flatten the infection curve. At the time, the country recorded just under 600 cases. As per the latest from the Health Ministry, SA has a cumulative count of 1,538,961 cases with 52,251 deaths. Almost 200,000 health care workers have been vaccinated against Covid.

Experts have anticipated the third wave is likely to hit South Africa in April.

It is believed that the National Coronavirus Command Council has advised the MAC to restrict gatherings and impose a 10pm curfew as well as a restriction on the sale of alcohol.

Meanwhile, the Medical Research Council (MRC) has warned that a third wave is imminent.

Addressing Parliament’s health committee, MRC president Professor Glenda Gray said: “If you watch our burden of disease, we have seen weekly mortality rates, there is a slight uptick. We need to keep an eye and monitor the excess deaths in the country.

“In terms of the third wave, yes, I think we are all worried about the third wave, particularly after the April weekend, the Easter holidays as we go into winter, and as we spend more time indoors the third wave is imminent.”