In the meantime, the government could not “just throw away everything, because the virus is still there, it’s deadly and it’s changing unpredictably”.
Once the state of disaster is lifted it would mean that “if the bulk of those controls have to be under the National Health Act, the minister of health would then be the regulator”.
Phaahla said legal advisers would have to examine the act to see if it empowers the health minister to regulate the behaviour of the population.
With the number of vaccinations being administered below 400,000 a week, Phaahla said about 10-million adults still have to be vaccinated for SA to reach its target of 70% coverage.
“It is a headache and I have asked the team leading the vaccination programme to look at how we communicate and other incentives, especially to young people,” he said.
“In about a week’s time we will be saying more on other interventions which try to get closer to younger people.”
Two-thirds of over-60s have had at least one jab, but Phaahla said only one-third of those in the 13-34 age group have been vaccinated.