Second hard lockdown in South Africa unlikely
There is currently not a strong case for a second hard lockdown in South Africa despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in parts of South Africa.
This is the view of South African Medical Association (SAMA) chairperson Angelique Coetzee, who was speaking to ENCA about a possible second hard lockdown.
Last month, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala warned that a return to a hard lockdown was on the cards unless there is a decline in the number of cases.
“Looking at the statistics, we can now safely say that we are definitely going back into a hard lockdown if there is no urgent and drastic change in behaviour,” said Zikalala.
This sparked speculation that President Cyril Ramaphosa may announce stricter rules in the near future.
Ramaphosa, however, dismissed speculation that South Africa is returning to a hard lockdown, saying it is simply not true and that no such decision has been made.
Commenting on the spread of COVID-19, the president said they are starting to see signs which are of concern to them, including super spreader events.
A big concern, Ramaphosa said, is that many people are not adhering to protective measures like wearing masks and washing hands.
He said he received a report on COVID-19 infections, and after he studied it he will address the nation on the situation on the way forward.
Second hard lockdown unlikely
Commenting on Zikalala’s comments about a second hard lockdown, Coetzee said politicians often do not understand the data.
“It is a bit irresponsible to say I am going to put you into a stricter lockdown if you do not listen to me,” she said.
She said the most important thing to do at this point is to tweak the current restrictions to focus on mass gatherings.
“Mass gatherings, like bars, sporting events, churches, and funerals, is where our super spreaders normally start,” Coetzee said.
She further urged people to adhere to the current guidelines like wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands regularly.
Coetzee said people have become complacent and are not following the rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We can bring in as many lockdowns as we want to, if people do not do their part and take responsibility it is not going to help us,” she said.