Stricter lockdown rules proposed by MAC – with a possible move to level 2

The Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee (MAC) has warned that stricter lockdown measures are needed as a third wave is looming.

News24 reported that the MAC has raised concerns that large gatherings are contributing to the increase in cases in recent weeks.

South Africa has seen a steady increase in Covid-19 cases, with the Free State, Northern Cape, Gauteng, and North West experiencing the start of third waves.

The increase in coronavirus cases started a month ago, when the average daily positives per week was at 1,170.

In May Covid-19 infections increased rapidly, with the average daily positive cases per week increasing to 3,487.

Professor Adrian Puren from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases said many provinces are experiencing a rapid increase in cases.

Puren said some areas are already in the midst of a third wave or have not properly exited a second wave.

Amidst the rise in cases, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet today to consider limits on large gatherings and an earlier curfew.

According to the News24 report, South Africa could soon be moving to an adjusted level 2 of the lockdown.

This does not come as a surprise. Many experts, including Marc Mendelson, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Cape Town, has called for limits on large gatherings.

Mendelson said South Africa needs to put stricter lockdown measures in place, especially around indoor and mass gatherings, to limit the spread of Covid-19.

He said indoor and mass gatherings are linked to super-spreader events, which South Africa should guard against.

Mendelson called on the government to immediately ban mass gatherings and limit indoor gatherings, including at churches, casinos, and other indoor areas.

Professor Alex van den Heever from the Wits School of Governance also said limiting mass gatherings was the right thing to do.

Winter periods make it difficult to contain the virus, which means that even with restrictions it is challenging to avoid another wave.

If South Africa can address gatherings, however, it will reduce the possibility of a severe third wave.

Daily case trends per province

Average daily positives per week

Now read: Stricter lockdown rules in South Africa suggested as third wave hits

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