Over the past two weeks, the South Africa Medical Association (Sama) chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee has called for stricter lockdown measures to curb the spread of the third wave of Covid-19.
As The Citizen reports, Sama has called for tighter restrictions on social gatherings, and getting people to stay home as much as possible. “If we want to get out of this, we need to make tough decisions,” Coetzee said.
Since then, the Western Cape health department has decided to restrict patient escorts and hospital visitors as it prepares for an increase in new cases.
Meanwhile in Gauteng, Premier David Makhura said that the province might impose stricter restrictions on account of the rising Covid-19 cases and limited bed capacity.
The CEO of Netcare, Richard Friedland echoed similar sentiments, calling for Gauteng to be placed under Level 5 lockdown. He also mentioned how hospitals are struggling to cope with the third wave of the pandemic.
As reported by News24, in an interview with The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, Friedland stated that the numbers of Covid-19 patients “are overwhelming facilities at the moment.”
“I’m afraid that these numbers are demonstrating that [without] a Level 5 lockdown in Gauteng, we may not see the end of this surge for some time,” he added.
Friedland further urged that schools needed to close.
“Schools are transmitters of the virus. Yes, children themselves may not be that badly impacted by the illness, but they pass it on to parents, caregivers and grandparents and we think that’s problematic,” he told The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield.
He issued a warning to other provinces, such as the Western and Eastern Cape to get as many people vaccinated as possible. According to Netcare’s forecasts, the Western Cape could face the same Gauteng wave in three to four weeks.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) also reported on Monday that almost 70% of all new Covid-19 daily cases were in Gauteng in the preceding 24 hours.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema spoke to Newzroom Afrika’s Xoli Mngambi and said he was aware that President Cyril Ramaphosa was considering moving the country back to Level 5 of the lockdown for 21 days, News24 writes.
Malema discussed the prospects of Level 5 lockdown in the interview by saying: “Let me tell you, I heard you saying Gauteng is looking at going back to Level 5. Not Gauteng… the man is looking at taking us back to Level 5 for 21 days, if you don’t know. That is what he is considering. The president is considering taking us to Level 5 for 21 days. He wants to lock us up again for 21 days. We are not going back there.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, however, admitted that he is “deeply worried” about the Covid-19 infection rate in Gauteng and says that it might be necessary for the government’s National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to review the lockdown level in the country, as reported by News24.