Our greatest preoccupation now should be mechanisms the government should put in place to ensure that we don't arrive at a situation where we see mass burials, says the writer. File Picture: EPA-EFE
Our greatest preoccupation now should be mechanisms the government should put in place to ensure that we don't arrive at a situation where we see mass burials, says the writer. File Picture: EPA-EFE

Stop worrying if there’ll be liquor or cigarette ban, make sure we don’t reach stage of mass funerals due to Covid-19

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Dec 11, 2020

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Health expert Professor Salim Abdool Karim this week called for legal action against super-spreader event organisers who break Covid-19 restriction rules set out by the government.

This comes as various events have over the past few weeks have led to infection rates in the country skyrocketing.

The reality is that over the next three weeks, many South Africans will be winding down, companies will close down for the holiday season with many looking forward to travelling and spending quality time with their loved ones, or attending their favourite music festival or a wedding or two.

The bottom line, however, is that life as we have known it has drastically changed and it can't be business as usual.

If anything, with the second wave having hit South Africa, we ought to sit down and reflect on whether attending packed events is really worth it.

In his virtual address on Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize maintained there may possibly be an exponential growth in infections.

The part that should worry us all is his statement that: "We must expect faster-rising numbers with a possible higher peak than the first wave."

Instead of worrying whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will at any given time impose restrictions on alcohol or cigarette sales or place restrictions on areas of entertainment, our greatest preoccupation should be mechanisms the government should put in place to ensure that we don't arrive at a situation where we see mass burials.

There are fears and concerns over the fact that another lockdown would further cripple an already ailing economy. These concerns are warranted but the behavioural patterns of various sectors of society should also be scrutinised very closely.

We still have people who simply refuse to wear masks, maintain a safe social distance or adhere to all health protocols. Professor Karim is thus perhaps correct to indicate that tough action needs to be instituted against festival organisers.

They need to ensure that they enforce strict measures at their respective festivals and not place profit before the safety of their customers.

This tough action we speak of should be meted out before we lose any more lives in a year that has been nothing but hell for many.

The Star

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