Stricter lockdown for South Africa?

THE Covid-19 numbers in Gauteng are spiraling out of control.

There were 17 000 infections nationally on Monday, 21 June and a little more than 10 000 of those cases were in Gauteng.

During a provincial command council briefing, chairwoman of the Premier’s advisory committee, Dr Mary Kawonga, said tighter restrictions were needed as the province had entered the third wave, with the peak expected in July.

“We need tighter restrictions, government imposed (restrictions) and non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“It’s quite clear alert level 1 measures didn’t work. We’ve moved to alert level 3 and haven’t seen any impact yet. However, we usually wait two weeks before seeing the visible effects of alert level 3,” said Kawonga.

As hard lockdown left many businesses crippled and people jobless, Kawonga said there should be a balance when placing tough restrictions.

“The recommendation we made to the council and the premier is that level 5 is way too stringent and will have a disastrous effect on the economy and people’s livelihoods,” she said.

She said the cases didn’t fall from the sky but emanated from people’s behaviour as they failed to practise social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowded spaces. Kawonga said there should be a balance with the alcohol restrictions.

“There might be a need to ban alcohol over the weekend or things over the weekend,” she said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura also expressed concern over the recent numbers.

“These numbers may just keep shooting up unless something is done,” he said.

Some parts of the closed Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, which were not affected by the fire, may be opened soon.

“Bringing back Charlotte Maxeke will not solve the problem but will bring relief (to other burdened hospitals),” he said.

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