Tag: cases

Source: MyBroadband

The Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee (MAC) has warned that stricter lockdown measures are needed as a third wave is looming.

News24 reported that the MAC has raised concerns that large gatherings are contributing to the increase in cases in recent weeks.

South Africa has seen a steady increase in Covid-19 cases, with the Free State, Northern Cape, Gauteng, and North West experiencing the start of third waves.

The increase in coronavirus cases started a month ago, when the average daily positives per week was at 1,170.

In May Covid-19 infections increased rapidly, with the average daily positive cases per week increasing to 3,487.

Professor Adrian Puren from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases said many provinces are experiencing a rapid increase in cases.

Puren said some areas are already in the midst of a third wave or have not properly exited a second wave.

Amidst the rise in cases, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet today to consider limits on large gatherings and an earlier curfew.

According to the News24 report, South Africa could soon be moving to an adjusted level 2 of the lockdown.

Daily cases

This does not come as a surprise. Many experts, including Marc Mendelson, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Cape Town, has called for limits on large gatherings.

Mendelson said South Africa needs to put stricter lockdown measures in place, especially around indoor and mass gatherings, to limit the spread of Covid-19.

He said indoor and mass gatherings are linked to super-spreader events, which South Africa should guard against.

Mendelson called on the government to immediately ban mass gatherings and limit indoor gatherings, including at churches, casinos, and other indoor areas.

Professor Alex van den Heever from the Wits School of Governance also said limiting mass gatherings was the right thing to do.

Winter periods make it difficult to contain the virus, which means that even with restrictions it is challenging to avoid another wave.

If South Africa can address gatherings, however, it will reduce the possibility of a severe third wave.

 

SA moves to Level 1

Source: BBC

President Cyril Ramaphosa last night announced that, following consultations with health experts and officials from across South Africa, the country would lower its current alert Level 2 to Level 1 from midnight on 20 September.

This means that, as of Monday 21 September:

  • Social, religious, political and other gatherings will be permitted, as long as the number of people does not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue, up to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors
  • The maximum number of people who can attend a funeral is increased from 50 to 100
  • Venues for exercise, recreation and entertainment – such as gyms and theatres – currently limited to 50 people, will be allowed to accommodate up to 50% of their venue’s capacity
  • The national 22:00 – 04:00 curfew will start two hours later
  • Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments
  • International travel would resume from 1 October. Those arriving in South Africa must present a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of travel.

A further stimulus package was being drawn up to rebuild an economy that has been savaged by the lockdown.

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband 

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku has blamed the accelerated spread of COVID-19 in the province on the “blatant disregard” of lockdown regulations, among other factors.

Speaking in an interview with eNCA on 5 July, Masuku said that the province was in discussions with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) about how it could more strictly enforce the advanced level 3 lockdown restrictions.

The number of recorded COVID-19 cases in South Africa rose to 205,721 on 6 July, breaching the 200,000-mark.

Gauteng has emerged as a major hotspot, accounting for 32.5% of all COVID-19 cases with 66,891 recorded cases in the province.

The Gauteng government was previously discussing a plan to re-implement a hard lockdown in the province, but Masuku told eNCA the executive council has agreed to look at stricter enforcement of the current regulations instead.

“What we agreed on as the executive council is to see how we are able to apply and enforce the regulations that will help us to reduce the rate of transmission,” he said.

“These regulations are the ones that are already applied but are not being respected by the community.”

Masuku said the biggest problem was the adherence to rules around public gatherings.

“People have defied that. People are deliberately and intentionally organising social events, parties, and weddings.”

“There are regulations that prohibit those types of interactions and we want to see those being enforced,” he said.

Masuku added that people should not gather in any groups if it is not necessary.

Working with police and soldiers to enforce lockdown rules
One new restriction being considered by Gauteng is the limitation of alcohol sales to only one day per week.

Masuku did not confirm whether this would be implemented, stating only that the province had the power to regulate the sale of alcohol and it has noted the effect reopening sales has had on hospitals in the province.

“The issue of alcohol restriction is within the provincial purview and we can regulate it,” he said.

“We have seen the impact of reintroducing the sale of alcohol, what it has done to our casualties, to our trauma units, and it is something that as the provincial government we took a very strong decision around and we just feel that it should be properly regulated.”

Masuku’s statements that Gauteng would further clamp down on enforcement were supported by provincial spokesperson Thabo Masebe, who confirmed yesterday that the provincial government would not push for a hard lockdown.

“We are not calling for the return of hard lockdown. We fully understand and support the current risk-adjusted strategy, which is being implemented by the national government,” Masebe said.

“The things that we are looking at is the continued use of police, being supported by soldiers, to got to places and help enforce regulations.”

“We will also continue working with other spheres of government to go factories, shopping malls, and other places to ensure that people follow the regulations,” Masebe said.

National Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has not ruled out the possibility of a hard lockdown in the province, however, stating that this would be evaluated by the NCCC.

“At the moment we’ve not taken a decision for a hard lockdown but it cannot be ruled out as a future instrument that can be used,” he said.

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