Rising COVID cases in South Africa threatening to ease Tier 4 restrictions

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The government’s decision to enforce stricter rules was prompted by a frightening rise in COVID infections as the Delta variant spread across the country.

FILE: A patient infected with COVID-19 at Tembisa Hospital in Gauteng on March 2, 2021. Photo: Guillem Sartorio / AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The current lockdown restrictions are supposed to last until Sunday and public health experts have said the next few days will be crucial in determining what happens next.

The adjusted Level 4 restrictions, which include a ban on the sale of alcohol and on-site consumption in restaurants, came into effect on June 28.

The government’s decision to enforce stricter rules was prompted by a frightening rise in COVID infections as the Delta variant spread across the country.

READ MORE: SA Goes to Adjusted COVID-19 Alert Level 4 for 14 Days – What It Looks Like

New cases in the thousands threaten to ease Level 4 restrictions, which have only been set for two weeks.

The chief medical specialist and director of the School of Nursing and Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Mosa Moshabela, said new cases of hospitalizations and deaths in Gauteng had exceeded the first two waves.

According to him, this will be the key to the government’s decision to extend level 4 or revert to level three.

“Hospital admissions and the way they will continue to increase for another week, and then over the next two weeks, we’re probably going to see an increase in the number of deaths. We already saw last night that the three hundred had gone to the four hundred, ”Moshabela said.

Moshabela said if the numbers stabilized over the next few days, Level 4 would have hit its target.

“As to whether these numbers maintain a steady downtrend or fluctuate in Gauteng, if they still fluctuate, an argument could be made for another week of level four lockdown. And if they stabilize and show a downtrend, then an argument can be made for an adjusted level, ”he said.

The professor said human behavior also contributes to trends.

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