Photo: GCIS / Flickr
With lockdown level speculation on the rise, the government has warned against it, urging South Africans to ignore the hype.
Photo: GCIS / Flickr
COVID-19 cases are on the rise, it’s no secret, but with that comes speculation about moving to a different or higher lockdown level. The government, however, has sent out communication on Friday stating that the public should ignore any messages making the rounds regarding a change in lockdown level.
While some of us expected a family address from President Cyril Ramaphosa this week or even over the weekend…it doesn’t quite seem to be the case.
Director-General of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Phumla Williams, took to Twitter on Friday morning saying that the National coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) would only be meeting next week.
She also asked that messages doing the rounds, regarding lockdown level changes, be ignored.
“Please ignore any message doing the rounds on any level changes. NCCC is only scheduled to meet next week 29th,” said Williams.
Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane did, however, say on Friday morning that she would be meeting with the the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Saturday to discuss the response needed for the COVID-19 surge the country is currently experiencing.
Kubayi-Ngubane also announced that vaccine registration would open for those over 50 from 1 July.
“From 1 July 2021, we will open registrations for all citizens [who] are between the ages of 50 years and above and we will also schedule those vaccinations to begin on 15 July,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
During a Gauteng Provincial Coronavirus Command Council (PCCC) briefing on Thursday 24 June, Dr Mary Kawonga, said recent infections and the positivity rate is very worrying and tighter restrictions may be what’s needed.
“We need tighter restrictions and that might require government-imposed non-pharmaceutical interventions, in other words, the lockdown measures that the NCCC often makes a decision about,” she said.
“The recommendations we’ve been making to the provincial command council and the premier is that Level 5 is way too stringent and would have a disastrous effect on the economy and people’s livelihoods and also it’s quite late in the pandemic trajectory to expect to see a big impact,” she added.
Kawonga said one of the things they have been proposing is perhaps a hybrid of existing Level 3 measures together with some level 4 measures in one if possible.
South African Medical Association (SAMA) spokesperson Angelique Coetzee told The South African that it’s too late for a higher lockdown level.
“It’s actually too late now to go to higher lockdown levels, we should have done this three weeks ago. The virus is very difficult to contain so what would be needed now is for each and every person to take responsibility for themselves and make sure that they stay out of places where there [are] more than 10 people,” said Coetzee.
“You can’t lockdown Gauteng, it is just not practical, rather make sure that the lockdown restrictions are enforced,” she added.