Court amends lockdown regulations, allows Covid-19 patients to self-isolate at home
Pretoria – The North Gauteng High Court made another landmark ruling on Wednesday by amending the National Disaster Act legislation which deals with Covid-19 patients quarantined at state facilities.
This follows an application by lobby group AfriForum, which asked the court to force Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to allow patients who can self-isolate (at home or any other facility) to do so. Dlamini Zuma did not oppose the application.
The minister and AfriForum handed a draft order to Judge JW Louw on May 27 in which they agreed to the amendments. It was based on that agreement that Judge Louw made it an order of the court on Wednesday.
The amended regulation now states: "Regulation 6 and 7 published by Dlamini Zuma on April 29 in terms of Section 27 (2) are to be interpreted and applied as followed: A person who has been confirmed, as a clinical case or as a confirmed case or having contracted Covid-19, or who is suspected of having contracted Covid-19, or who has been in contact with a person who is a carrier of Covid-19: is only required to be quarantined or self-isolate at a state facility or other designated quarantine site; when that person is unable to self-quarantine or self-isolate, or refuses to do so, or violates the self-quarantine or self-regulation rules."
Judge Louw said to successfully self-quarantine, a person requires access to a separate room, adding “no one else must sleep or spend time in the room".
“That person must also be able to contact and/or return to a health facility if their condition worsens,” Judge Louw ordered.
The North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday declared the alert level 4 and 3 lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid, giving Dlamini Zuma 14 days to review, amend and republish the regulations with “due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights”.