Photo: GCIS / Flickr
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says their lockdown recommendations to the NCCC will be based on the trend of COVID-19 cases
Photo: GCIS / Flickr
Brace yourselves: If what Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has said is anything to go by, South Africa could be in for a festive season under much tighter lockdown restrictions.
Phaahla was speaking during a media briefing on Friday, 10 December 2021, giving an update on government’s coronavirus response and vaccination plan. It’s certainly crunch time, particularly as South Africa battles a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections believed to be driven by the Omicron variant.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to meet with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which governs the lockdown, to discuss a way forward.
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has revealed that they intend making some recommendations to the NCCC when it meets next week. As to what specific lockdown restrictions they reckon need to be amended this time around, Phaahla says it remains to be seen.
“The NCCC will be meeting next week, sometime during the course of next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday, and we will make a recommendations based on what we are reporting, even today here. We will also depend on recommendations from our Ministerial Advisory Committee”Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla
South Africa is currently under level 1 of the lockdown, but that could all change very soon. The implementation of the lockdown restrictions has been the biggest bone of contention for government as it has to strike a balance between alleviating the spread of COVID-19 and saving the economy.
Similarly on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said as government, their main concern is saving livelihoods and helping the economy survive the pandemic.
“The attitude the government is adopting is finding the best way to ensure livelihoods are preserved and the economy moves. No recommendations on mandatory vaccines were tabled. It’s clear to a number of us that you need a policy that encourages vaccination and discourages vaccine cynicism,” Gungubele said.