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Restrictions on movement over Easter holidays will lower risk, says Professor Glenda Gray

Professor Glenda Gray. Picture: Cara Viereckl/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Professor Glenda Gray. Picture: Cara Viereckl/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Mar 29, 2021


CAPE TOWN - While government is expected to announce how it will contain Covid-19 infection risks over the Easter holidays, the SA Medical Research Council president, Professor Glenda Gray, believes that restricting movement or implementing an earlier curfew can help mitigate transmission that may occur during the Easter period.

With Easter holidays a few days away, health officials and experts have warned that the associated religious gatherings and Easter celebrations could cause a spike in Covid-19 infections.

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“The third wave is inevitable as we are going into winter months. Easter or any holiday period represents high risk period transmission. Curtailing movement or implementing curfew or restricting crowds is a good way to try to mitigate transmission that may occur during this period,” said Gray.

According to media reports, the Ministerial Advisory Committee has recommended to government that South Africa be put into a higher level of lockdown over the Easter weekend, to prevent a surge in Covid-19 infections.

A move to level 2 would restrict all gatherings to 50 people; move the curfew forward from midnight to 10pm; and permit the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption only between Monday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, government finally unveiled details of its vaccine roll-out plan, which sets an ambitious target of inoculating up to 200 000 people a day. According to the plan, more than 2 000 vaccination sites – including stadiums, shopping centres, churches and hospitals – have been identified.

The roll-out is due to kick off in mid-May, following the expected arrival of the first batch of 2.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses at the end of April.

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