State of Disaster: Govt advisors helping to review new regulations

Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 seems to support some of the lockdown-era measures that will remain in place, but concerns remain. The MAC’s co-chairperson Professor Koleka Mlisana says they are assisting the Department of Health in reviewing some of the regulations, which are still subject to public comment.

South Africans have until 16 April to have their voices be heard on the proposed regulations, which would essentially be replacing the State of Disaster, after President Cyril Ramaphosa lifted it on Monday, 4 April 2022. Some of these regulations include the wearing of masks in an indoor public space as well as limits on gatherings.

PROF MLISANA: ‘IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO LIMIT NUMBERS OUTDOORS’

Professor Mlisana says they agree that masks should continue to be worn indoors in public spaces, given the protection they provide, not only from COVID-19, but other respiratory illnesses. She reckons that government needs to do away with mandates – and that indivuals should be on their best behaviour by applying the necessary measures that have been outlined.

“If you are outdoors, then you have to take the responsibility and avoid crowded areas and for those who want to continue using their masks, then they can continue to do that. So really, for us there has to be that shift because we are now focusing on mitigation and living with that virus”

The MAC’s co-chairperson Professor Koleka Mlisana

Mlisana has questioned some of the restrictions on gatherings, particularly outdoors and says there is room for improvement in government’s proposed regulations.

“It just doesn’t make sense to limit numbers, but remember, we provide advice and government looks at everything else before coming up with a final implementation – so we just have to leave that to government… We have already presented our concerns to the Department of Health and we are assisting the department to review the draft regulations,” she added

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