‘Stricter measures are needed’: SA Medical Association on lockdown
‘We cannot be fooled into a false sense of security around Covid-19’
The SA Medical Association (Sama) says it would have preferred stricter curfews, particularly over weekends, to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The view was in response to the latest adjusted lockdown measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.
Ramaphosa said due to an increase in new Covid-19 infections, the country would move to adjusted level 2 restrictions.
The restrictions came into effect on Monday, with the curfew starting at 11pm and ending at 4am.
Sama chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee welcomed tighter curbs on the number of people at events, which are limited to 100 indoors and 250 outdoors.
“Although this is a move in the right direction, it is not enough and stricter measures need to be in place, especially for indoor gatherings with poor ventilation,” she said.
Coetzee said the association remained concerned about the slow rollout of vaccinations, which may affect the severity of the third wave of the pandemic already being reported in parts of the country.
“The plan was to reach five million people in phase 2 of the vaccine rollout, but this is being hampered by the slow rollout and poor adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as possible poor ventilation that might be experienced in clinics administering the vaccine.
“Taxis carrying more than 50% of their capacity might inadvertently increase the spread of the virus as winter sets in. These and other issues require urgent attention.”
Also of concern to Sama is that many people are suffering from “Covid-19-fatigue”, with younger people in particular not adhering to non-pharmaceutical protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing and quarantine.
“We cannot be fooled into a false sense of security around Covid-19. It is still out there and still a threat to many people,” said Coetzee.
“We simply have to ensure we do everything we can to curb the spread of the disease — and we have to understand each and every person has a role to play.”