COVID-19 hard lockdown fears arose on October 26. We reported that it came after the KZN premier warned people they could expect a hard lockdown over the Christmas period if they flouted social distancing rules. A few days later, news came that President Cyril Ramaphosa ruled it out. But, with the National Coronavirus Command Council meeting this week, and another address to the nation promised, sources suggest a harder lockdown’s very possible.
COVID-19 harder lockdown looks likely
When we reported on the possibility of another hard lockdown, many people grew angry. After all, millions of people only just got their jobs back. And, they fear sitting at home unemployed more than they fear the coronavirus. Others just scorned the government and even suggested they just want the opportunity to “loot” more funding.
On Twitter, one angry person vented about it. @PhungashePcommented, “l will die going to work. to hell with your second wave shut-down. we have suffered enough government has not helped us. Rentals are needed companies are not paying us because they say they have no money. we not doing this.”
And, many similar comments came rolling in about a hard COVID-19 lockdown. But, people felt a bit reassured after President Cyril Ramaphosa talked about it.
President ruled out a hard COVID-19 lockdown just weeks ago
The BBC reported two days after the threatened KZN hard lockdown, that President Ramaphosa spoke up. According to the outlet, “He ruled out the possibility of a return to a hard lockdown, but said he was concerned about people becoming “super spreaders” of the virus because of a lack of adherence to guidelines.” So, that brought people some hope for no hard lockdown in the immediate future.
After all, as we speculated, why not use this time to go hard on those who flout social distancing? And, revamp more educational campaigns. Or, even send in the SANDF to enforce the regulations, if necessary, before it gets out of control. Well, nothing spectacular came along in terms of another hard educational campaign. The same old COVID-19 notices appeared on TV and social media, but no obviously over-the-top efforts emerged.
Now, a hard lockdown looks much more likely
On Monday, November 9th, Bloomberg reported that the government considers “reimposing several curbs aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic.” Apparently, the information came from unnamed officials. “Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu,” said that the recommendations by the NCCC go before the “cabinet on Nov. 13.”
Naturally, South Africans fear that the NCCC enforce a hard COVID-19 lockdown once again. And, the people of the nation long ago became fearful of the president addressing them. At least judging by social media reactions since the harsh lockdowns began in March this year. News that the president might not rule out a return to a harder lockdown, after all, came as no big surprise on social media.
South Africans talk lockdown on Twitter
Social influencer@BrentLindeque noted, “SA’s active cases stay below 38 000 mark while recoveries continue to rise! Our active cases keep fluctuating but stay low & have been under 55 000 for 56 days while on a steady decline for 111 days now.” And, he added these figures:
- Recoveries: 679 688
- Active Cases: 37 781
- Deaths: 19 809
However, @ewnreporter tweeted on the same day, “The Eastern Cape…confirmed more than 4 000 new COVID-19 cases in just the last week.” So, that seems concerning.
The government talked about a district-based lockdown if harder regulations return. But right now, nobody’s mentioning that aspect. So, until the official notification of any changes come out, people simply sit and wait with a feeling of dread.
Sound off your thoughts on a harder COVID-19 lockdown in the comments below.
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