COVID-19 SA hard lockdown fears rise after the county hit a million cases since the pandemic began. We reported a few days ago, that SA’s new COVID-19 variant’s known as a super-spreader. And, the second wave’s numbers started growing again. It seems to spread much faster. So, under an opinion piece, one of our writers noted that responsible behavior over Christmas might be the only way to avoid a hard lockdown and more deaths. Unfortunately, on social media, a lot of gatherings, drunkenness, and parties emerged. So, could the NCCC start a hard lockdown for the entire country again?
COVID-19 SA hard lockdown potential
The Sunday Times reported that “tougher restrictions could be imposed nationwide when the National Coronavirus Command Council meets this week to discuss a Covid-19 resurgence.” A particularly worrying factor seems to be that “intensive care beds and oxygen supplies” are under pressure. While confined to the four major provinces, the president can’t ignore it. Apparently, the Command Council breaks its own Christmas holiday for an emergency meeting on Tuesday, December 29th.
COVID-19 SA hard lockdown seems imminent. But notably, no insider information indicates a return to Level 5 at this time. However, several outlets suggest South Africans should expect more limits on people attending gatherings. Potentially, they might even stop inter-provincial travel again. Plus, borders might close once more. And some sort of further tightening on alcohol sales looks likely. But will the restrictions apply to the entire country?
Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize
Business Tech mentioned that Dr. Zweli Mkhize spoke about the probability of more lockdown restrictions. However, on December 23rd, he specifically mentioned “KZN, the Western Cape, and Gauteng” with the most increases. (81%). The Eastern Cape seemingly slowed down a bit, but their death rate seems quite high. So, possibly count that province in on new restrictions.
Mkhize said they need to “identify hotspots in these areas and make recommendations based on these findings.” South Africans know that President Ramaphosa seems reluctant to close the entire economy. So perhaps people can take hope that a COVID-19 Level 5 lockdown won’t return for the entire country immediately. Certainly, those people in provinces with lower numbers might hope so.
Some provinces will manageable still
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases notes that Mpumalanga reported a total number of infections of 34, 920 since March this year. That allows for 3.5% of total cases in the country. In total, they recorded 638 deaths. Limpopo, with 22,705 represents 2.3%. Meanwhile, the North West with 38,540 sits at 3.8%. And the Northern Cape comes in with 24,870 total cases at 2,5%. Note that many of those provinces also saw recoveries.
It seems likely that at this stage, the NCCC still focuses on hot spot provinces and areas within those provinces. However logistically, enforcing it piecemeal might be more of a challenge than a countrywide lockdown. Right now, we simply don’t know what to expect. But, if you hope for New Year with no tighter restrictions, you might be way too optimistic.
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