Government considering new lockdown restrictions ahead of possible third wave

Zweli Mkhize Photographer: Phill Magakoe/AFP/Getty Images

According to a report by Bloomberg, the deadly COVID resurgence in India has prompted South African Government to reconsider current restrictions, and possibly introduce new lockdown rules in order to “stave off” a third wave.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize recently told an online conference that a close eye was being kept on India, which has now the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the world.

“The challenges we have seen in India are very serious,” Mkhize said. “We have received an advisory from the ministerial advisory council that we have to consider some restrictions and we are now going through that,” he said, without giving details.

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions in March as the rate of new infections dropped, scrapping most limits on alcohol sales, shortening a night-time curfew and permitting larger public gatherings.

Covid-19 infections in Africa’s most-industrialized economy have fallen from about 22,000 a day in January to fewer than 1,000, even without a large-scale vaccination campaign. However, concerns remain that South Africa could face the same fate as India if lockdown precautions (and a proper vaccine rollout) are not in place.

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