More Covid-19 restrictions in Gauteng? Too little, too late - health experts
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Johannesburg - While Gauteng premier David Makhura considers imposing further restrictions in the province, in an effort to curb the increasing number of Covid-19 infections, some health experts are saying they will not be enough.
In the past few weeks, Gauteng has seen a sustained steady increase in Covid-19 cases and is the epicentre of the third wave, accounting for about 60% of the latest daily increase.
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 36,858 tests were conducted in the last 24 hrs, with 9,160 new cases, which represents a 24.9% positivity rate. A further 93 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 58,795 to date. Read more: https://t.co/EFTmBkqEKw pic.twitter.com/OnutpYd4SF— NICD (@nicd_sa) June 21, 2021
Welcoming the military health personnel deployed to help health-care professionals in the province on Monday, Makhura said a stricter lockdown could be announced soon as the number of new cases and hospitalisations continued to soar.
This afternoon we welcome the capable medical task group deployed by the @SANDF_ZA to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.— David Makhura (@David_Makhura) June 21, 2021
Despite being under fire, we will continue to fight the battle against #COVID19. The pandemic is out of control. Let us #StaySafe & avoid gatherings. pic.twitter.com/91ImIfW24E
However, health expert Dr Kgosi Letlape said Gauteng was left with only one option.
“The only thing that we can resort to are the non-pharmaceutical intervention methods which have worked for us during the first and second wave. People should be behaving as if we are on level 5 because the numbers are too high,” he said.
Letlape said restrictions on social gatherings needed to be tightened.
Life Healthcare group chief executive Peter Wharton-Hood said further restrictions would not improve the situation.
“The infections are already in the system; a hard lockdown is not going to prevent the peak. The social consequences of a hard lockdown and the economic consequences are grave for those people who are not able to work,” he said.
“Prevention is better than cure. I think that the learnings of wave 3, for us, is a direct result of social behaviour and people not taking the necessary guidelines and following the obvious advice that has been given to them for months. Social distancing, wearing masks and responsible behaviour are the best ways to prevent this outcome,” he said.
The provincial coronavirus command council is set to meet on Tuesday when further restrictions are expected to be discussed.