We will recommend harsher lockdown should there be a resurgence - MAC

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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SA’S Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid has warned the public that it would not hesitate to recommend the reinstatement of a harsh lockdown if there wa a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

On Monday, the country returned to alert level 3 of lockdown as the third wave of Covid-19 shows signs of waning.

However, health experts have raised concerns of a potential spike in Covid-19 infections after last week's social unrest in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Thousands of people gathered during the looting and vandalism in the two provinces. Groups were often spotted not wearing masks, and failing to adhere to physical distancing.

Wits professor and MAC member Ian Sanne said that post the riots, the committee was very worried that the country might see an explosion of Covid-19 cases.

“The overall sense is that the cases are coming down but we are very worried, post the riots, that we may see an explosion of Covid cases. The pressure is still high on the health-care system.”

He that as a committee, they were concerned about the Northern Cape, which was yet to come out of the second wave. The Western Cape was also on their watch list.

“As MAC, we will have no hesitation to make recommendations to raise the lockdown levels should there be a resurgence in Covid-19 cases,” Sanne said.

The South African Medical Association has also called for the communities that were at the centre of the violent protests and unrest to be closely monitored.

Chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said: “Although we are seeing the numbers coming down we are still not out of the red. We will have to closely watch what's going to happen within the next three to four weeks in the areas which were at the centre.”

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