covid rules

The government is erring on the side of caution when lifting the State of Disaster laws – Photo: Adobe Stock

Lockdown u-turn? ‘Possible new restrictions for SA’ could come next week

A day after deciding against any new restrictions for South Africa, the Health Department stated that the situation ‘will be reviewed soon’.

covid rules

The government is erring on the side of caution when lifting the State of Disaster laws – Photo: Adobe Stock

It’s been just over 24 hours since our National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) declared there would be no new restrictions for South Africa – but it would appear the situation is more fluid than it ever has been before.

Another NCCC meeting on the cards…

That’s because Health Minister Joe Phaahla has confirmed the NCCC will meet again after this weekend – possibly on Monday or Tuesday – to review the latest case data for South Africa. Although new infections appear to have peaked in Gauteng, the same cannot be said for our other eight provinces.

Omicron has broken out from its epicentre in Gauteng, embedding itself across the land. Phaahla has urged citizens to show discipline and COVID-safe behaviour this weekend, without having to mandate any new restrictions.

Will South Africa get new restrictions? Data still favourable

As it stands, hospitalisations and death rates are much lower in the Omicron wave than any other bout of COVID – and that’s being pinned on two things: South Africans, either through previous infection or by receiving the vaccine, collectively have a bigger wall of protection against COVID-19 – slowing down the rate of hospital admissions.

However, there’s growing evidence that the Omicron variant itself is naturally milder than its predecessors – which would be fantastic news for the entire world, if this holds true. Phaahla acknowledged these factors on Friday.

“Hospital admissions during the fourth wave differs significantly from the second and third wave. This time around the stay is a lot shorter, milder, and not as severe as previous variants.”

“During the third wave, the infection rate was a lot lower but hospitalisations were over 800 a day. This shows how different this wave is and how it seems to be a lot milder when it comes to admissions.”

Joe Phaahla