Easter Lockdown – The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) has advised the government to instate a higher level of lockdown ahead of Easter Weekend to prevent a potential surge in Covid-19 infections. Chocolate Easter bunnies in Pirmasens in Germany. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters
According to Dr Ridhwaan Suliman, a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa is seeing a shift in its Covid-19 trajectory with the number of new cases increasing by 2% week-on-week since the government moved the country down to level 1. Cluster outbreaks are already being reported in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
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Now, health experts and analysts are encouraging an Easter lockdown to level 1, warning that the holiday weekend will likely spur a third wave of the virus in South Africa, as people travel across provinces to spend time with family and attend mass religious gatherings.
Current projections for the third wave are between end-April and June but researchers at Nelson Mandela University warned that it could hit even sooner, with statistical data indicating that certain parts of the country could see a surge in infections by the end of March or early April.
Speaking to ENCA, MAC chair professor Barry Schoub said that “there is a vulnerability, a chance, a risk that we could see super spreader events with all the festivities and activities that go on over the weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time.”
Schoub confirmed that should the advice be taken by the government, a level 2 Easter lockdown would likely be instated only for the Easter weekend and perhaps a “little bit over that.”
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