Health · June 22, 2022

Is the government ready to scrap Covid-19 mask-wearing and collection regulations?

The Department of Health is reportedly considering scrapping South Africa’s Covid-19 regulations relating to mask-wearing in indoor public spaces and restrictions on gatherings.

The recommendation was made by Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla in a leaked memo dated June 20, 2022, according to a News24 report.

The memo appears to note that there has been a drop in “critical indicators” including the number of reported Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and the “effective reproduction rate of the virus” in the country.

The citizen reached out to the minister’s spokesman, Doctor Tshwale, but he said the document was confidential and for consultation between the minister and his cabinet colleagues.

“This is not a consensus with the MECs [the] The Minister is formulating recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and Cabinet,” Tshwale said.

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to host a President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting that will assess progress and challenges in implementing the Covid-19 regulations.

Leaked Health Ministry memo shared by Professor Shabir Madhi:

Winde supports the lifting of Covid restrictions

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde welcomed the convening of the PCC meeting and stressed that any remaining Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted.

“Finally, we may now be seeing an end to all Covid-19 restrictions, as I’ve been asking for again and again. But it must be stressed that it is disappointing that it has taken so long, Winde said in a statement on Tuesday.

Winde highlighted the major impact of the restrictions on public events such as the United Rugby Champion final which took place last weekend.

He said it would have been better if Cape Town Stadium had been packed with Stormers and Bulls fans.

“The reality is that this could have happened sooner. In May and again earlier this month, I had written to President Ramaphosa requesting a PCC meeting to present the province’s latest health data to help clear any remaining curbs.

“We should all expect far greater agility from national government if we are to grow our economy and create the jobs we need to recover,” Winde said.

Additional reporting by Faiz Patel

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