Is the government ready to lift the Covid-19 rules on masks and gatherings?

The Department of Health is reportedly considering lifting South Africa’s current Covid-19 regulations regarding the wearing of masks in indoor public places and restrictions on gatherings.

The recommendation was made by Health Secretary Dr. Joe Fahla in a leaked memo dated June 20, 2022. News24 report.

The memo appears to note a decline in “critical indicators” including the number of reported Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and the “effective reproductive rate of the virus” in the country.

Citizen contacted the minister’s spokesman, Dr. Tshvala, but he said the document was confidential and intended for consultation between the minister and his cabinet colleagues.

“It’s out of consensus with the MEC that [the] the minister formulates recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the cabinet,” Tsvale said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to host a meeting of the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC) on Wednesday to assess progress and challenges related to the implementation of Covid-19 regulations.

Leaked health department memo shared by professor Shabir Madhi:

Winde supports the lifting of Covid restrictions

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Wind welcomed the convening of the PCC meeting and stressed that all remaining Covid-19 restrictions must be lifted.

“Finally, we can see the end of all Covid-19 restrictions, which I have constantly called for. But it should be emphasized that it is disappointing that it took so long, Winde said in statement on Tuesday.

Winde stressed the big impact of restrictions on public events such as the UK Rugby Championship final held over the weekend.

He said it would be better if the stadium in Cape Town was full of Stormers and Bulls fans.

“The reality is that this could have been done before. In May, and again earlier this month, I wrote to President Ramaphosa calling for a meeting of the PCC to present the latest health data from the province in support of lifting the remaining restrictions.

“We should all expect a lot more flexibility from the national government if we want our economy to grow and create the jobs we need to rebuild,” Winde said.

Additional reporting on Faizel Patel

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