By Annisa Essack
Head of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), Professor Koleka Mlisana, calling for tighter restrictions as the surge of COVID-19 cases increases. A lack of restraint due to fatigue has set in. Large social gatherings are also a concern.
Mlisana, who took over from Prof. Salim Abdool Karim, said she was concerned about the steep increase in cases and called for more discussions regarding the sale of alcohol.
“If we don’t manage, it will spill over to the healthcare facilities, which we cannot have right now.
“At an individual level, people are not adhering to the regulations of social distancing and not wearing masks. We need to be accountable citizens,” she said.
South Africa now has more than 83,000 people infected with COVID-19, after 5,552 new infections were recorded in a single day. One hundred and fourteen people have died, taking the death toll to over 57 000.
Gauteng dominates the number of infected, as the province accounts for more than two-thirds of infections in the past 24-hours, recording 3,720 new ones.
As the numbers increases in Gauteng, the Portfolio Committee on Health believe that the continued shutdown of the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital would hurt the ability of the Gauteng public health system to manage the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The Committee Chairperson, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said having conducted an oversight visit to Gauteng, said it would be “practically impossible” to manage the third wave without the more than 1000 beds, including 124 Intensive Care Unit beds at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
“This matter needs urgent attention, and we have committed, as the Portfolio Committee, to engage national ministers to see how they can assist in ensuring that the facility is ready and available to assist in the management of the third wave.”
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the National Coronavirus Command Council on Monday after many experts called for further restrictions as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly.
Another family meeting could be on the cards soon.