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Covid curbs: Health minister proposes to drop mask wearing

Cabinet is expected to make a decision on the wearing of face masks. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cabinet is expected to make a decision on the wearing of face masks. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde will use Wednesday’s President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) with President Cyril Ramaphosa to make clear the provincial government’s position in favour of the removal of remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

“Finally we may now see an end to all Covid-19 curbs, as I have consistently called for. But it has to be emphasised, it is disappointing that it has taken so long. We want to see a removal of the remaining restrictions immediately, as our data clearly indicates that it is no longer required to protect our healthcare system. This includes the removal of all restrictions on gatherings, as well as the removal of the mask mandate. It is now up to individuals to demonstrate personal responsibility by using all the knowledge that we have learnt over the last two years,” said Winde.

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said Cabinet was expected to make a decision soon on the continued mandatory wearing of face masks.

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“We have been monitoring the epidemic working with the NICD and the current epidemiological analysis, points towards lower infection rates and that the country has exited the recent spike or 5th wave which the current limited regulations were promulgated to mitigate,” he said.

Stellenbosch University epidemiologist, Dr Jo Barnes said: “It is high time for a proper review for all the regulations and changes that have been made in the last two years to find out exactly scientifically what had worked and what did not work, as well as what was cost-effective and what wasn’t. So that we can know in future what to do in similar situations. Also so that we can change what we need to change now on a scientific basis. At the moment the people who make the decisions do not account why they make the decisions, they do not tell the health services or even the advisory committee. All of these matters should be cleared up before they make a coherent response to this.”

Cape Times

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