Tighter Restrictions Might Be Needed for Joburg and Cape Town

Tighter restrictions might be required for Covid-19 hotspots like Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini as the government begins to take a more granular approach in the assessment of the outbreak in the country.

On Sunday evening, 10thMay, a statement was published where the health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said that whilst good progress has been made in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak so far with the peak of infections still to hit and with flu season coming closer, the coming months will be faced with health pressures. 

Mkhize said that we are dealing with a dynamic situation and in various parts of the country they will be monitoring and evaluating the progress. It should be expected that there will be areas that they can’t let everything go back to normal as this will not be the best way. 

There could be instances where they may need to consider lockdowns and other instances where heightened interventions of various forms will need to be considered. 

He went on to say that on these issues they will need our cooperation and support. There is a long way to go, but increased pressure is still to come to our communities, especially with flu season on the horizon. 

The latest sentiments from Mkhize echoed his position on Saturday evening, commenting on the alarming rise of new infections in the Western Cape, where almost 50% of total positive cases have been reported. 

He went on to say that focus must be placed on working with healthcare professionals both private and public to make sure that those who do test positive are receiving the necessary care and are properly isolated. 

Even though the number of infections is rising, experts and several analysts have been calling on government to start opening the economy more rapidly. 

Chief executive of Genesis Analytics, Stephan Malherbe said that the easing of lockdown restrictions in South Arica has been successful in most of the areas identified by WHO, but has failed in taking a logical approach in opening the economy. 

He then said that it is very important to have a differentiated approach with the lockdown to various areas. 

The Western Cape is the epicentre of infections, and residents in smaller towns are begging government to not judge all areas the same. 

For instance, according to a Rapport report, residents of Kuruman in the Northern Cape where they have about 13 000 residents have so far been untouched by Covid-19 and yet must adhere to the same lockdown restrictions placed on the rest of the country. 

This past week, data has been published that shows the damage being done to the economy due to the umbrella lockdown approach. The data includes GDP decline of between 6% and 16%, job losses of between 1 and 7 million people and a potential loss in tax revenue of R285 billion. 

BASA, Business for SA has stated that a quick move to level 2 would save 1 million jobs, whilst allowing people to stay safe and follow Covid-19 protocols. 

Article Source: https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/396487/cape-town-and-joburg-may-need-tighter-restrictions-mkhize/