Restaurants and eateries will be able to operate while observing strict health protocols. Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or for smaller venues more than 50% of their normal capacity. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Restaurants and eateries will be able to operate while observing strict health protocols. Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or for smaller venues more than 50% of their normal capacity. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Efficacy of level 4 lockdown regulations to only be known in the coming weeks

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jul 12, 2021

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Cape Town - The nation will know soon whether sufficient remedial action was done under alert level 4 to assist in curbing the spread of third wave Covid-19.

Today marks two weeks since the country was placed under alert level 4, due to the fast spreading nature of the Delta variant, driving the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Just last night President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will remain on adjusted level 4 lockdown for another 14 days.

“For the last two weeks, the country has been on adjusted alert level, this was indicative of a high risk of transmission. When I last addressed you, I indicated that we would assess the situation after 14 days and determine what adjustments may be required,” Ramaphosa said.

“As things stand now, infections remain extremely high. With the fast-spreading Delta variant, we are experiencing a third wave that is more severe than the first and the second wave.”

Associate professor in the school of public health and family medicine at UCT, Susan Cleary, said many of the daily cases reported at the moment would’ve been brewing from before the alert level 4, and therefore, the efficacy of the latest adjustment would only be seen in the next week or so.

“Depending on the penetration of the third wave, we can expect to have a fourth wave before the end of the year. The most important tool we have at our disposal is vaccination. This will help us to avoid a lot of deaths during the fourth wave,” said Cleary.

Meanwhile, the Efficient Group chief economist Dawie Roodt said the effect that the lockdown has on sectors, businesses and individuals differ with some hit more harshly than others.

“Time is an important factor. Businesses like restaurants are generally in very deep trouble. In certain smaller towns as many as 50% or more have closed down. But there are also other businesses that are doing very well, like food delivery businesses and many others. But overall, any kind of lockdown is very bad for an economy especially after last year’s lockdown,” said Roodt.

“Typically, it is lower waged and lower skilled people who are on the losing side. It is important to understand that SA was in deep trouble (economically) for years before Covid-19. To get back to where we could have been if it wasn't for Covid-19 and mismanagement, then we are talking many, many years.”

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