Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned that strict precautionary measures will be undertaken during the Easter weekend to prevent potential superspreader events.
DURBAN – NATIONAL Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s warning comes in the wake of experts’ advice for the government to upgrade the country to level 2 in anticipation of the third wave which is set to hit South Africa next month.
According to chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on Covid-19, Professor Barry Schoub, the tighter restrictions would be temporary and should be quickly lifted after Easter.
“This is a sensitive period of the Easter period 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.
Speaking to the SABC, Mkhize said discussions on the implementation of stricter lockdown regulations were still in progress.
“There have been recommendations given about imposing a stricter lockdown but others are calling for some regulations to be relaxed so there is still consultation around the matter. The consultation process takes into account the advice given the ministerial advisory committee as well as the concerns of the various sectors of the economy including social, churches and business sectors,” he said.
Mkhize said the decision is also guided by scientific research.
“We have to balance the MAC’s advice and look at hunger, unemployment and economic activities and we expect that after the consultation, we will come up with something. This is not an easy decision but something needs to be considered ahead of the long weekend, interprovincial travel and migration,” Mkhize said.
As per the latest from the Health Ministry, SA has a cumulative count of 1 540 009 Covid cases. The total death count is at 52 372.