Opposition attacks Premier Alan Winde’s position on a move to level 2
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Cape Town - The provincial opposition has attacked Premier Alan Winde’s position that the Western Cape would not have supported a move to lockdown level 2 had the national government declared one during the president’s speech last night.
Ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the latest developments in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, speculation was rife that meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Co-ordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet had recommended a move to lockdown level 2.
In the end the president only tightened a number of the current level 1 restrictions.
However, in anticipation of the president’s “family meeting announcement”, Winde, who is a member of the PCC said in a statement that a return to level 2 was unsupported by provincial data and would undermine economic recovery
Winde said: “Our health platform data, as per last week’s DigiCon, shows there continues to be a decline in cases, admissions and deaths in the province.”
“Moving to Alert Level 2 at this stage would not achieve the balance we need to save both lives and livelihoods in the Western Cape,” said Winde.
“One must also consider that there are currently numerous restrictions in place under Alert Level 1, which need to be properly enforced to ensure compliance with important health protocols.”
Provincial leader of the opposition Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said: “The DA always chooses the economy over lives. No matter what the risks of a third wave are, we need to ensure that our country participates in Easter in a way which does not increase risks of infection. It is clear that some additional measures will be needed.
“Just like a decision had to be made about the best way to curb the pandemic over the Christmas period, so, too, does a decision have to be made about the best way to prevent superspreader events over the Easter weekend,” said Dugmore.
EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “The premier does not care about the possible dangers that Covid-19 poses on people, particularly the poor, and he would rather risk people’s lives in trying to protect the pockets of the rich.
“There is talk of a looming third wave and as the province we need to be super vigilant and proactive, rather than reactive. We should at all times minimise any possible loss of life – even it means we need to go to Alert Level 2, so be it,” said Xego
Good Party MPL Brett Herron said: “The province must heed science and common sense on Covid restrictions. In his desperation to oppose whatever the national government may be contemplating to prevent the long weekend from becoming a Covid-19 super-spreading event, Premier Winde has turned his back on common sense.”
“We fully comprehend the magnitude of the economic destruction that the pandemic has wrought. If we don’t act sensibly now, we will be in for even worse. As we emerge from our second wave, and see Europe battling its third wave of Covid, some sensible preventative measures to reduce deaths are not unwarranted,” said Herron.