South Africa’s Covid-19 Alert Level 1 regulations have been adjusted, which sees the relaxation of several laws regarding social distancing.
On Monday, learners around the country will be returning to school in their full cohort from the time when Cyril Ramaphosa announced a hard lockdown in March 2022. This was after the cabinet announced that the required one-metre social distance requirement has been scrapped.
People who test positive for Covid-19 but display no symptoms, will not have to isolate. Those who do display symptoms will now only have to isolate for seven days. Previously they would have had to isolate for ten days.
In the last 24 hours, 3 266 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the country. An additional 82 deaths were attributed to Covid-19 related illness.
The National Department of Health (NDoH) advised that there may be a backlog of Covid-19 mortality cases reported and that of the 82 deaths that were reported in the country, 12 occurred in the past 24 - 48 hours.
Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general of the Health Department says while there is an uptick in cases recorded over the past few days, this is likely because of behaviour changes from the public.
Crisp says the department is earring on the side of caution as they predict a new wave of infections will come in the winter months. He believes that whether or not a new variant or a slightly mutated variant emerges, we can expect flu-like systems in winter.
He said, “Our message would be to be cautious, to continue with as much social distancing and particularly ventilation as possible but most important, get vaccinated because we know that prevents severe infection”.
Earlier this week, South Africa passed the 30 million doses mark in the vacation rollout program. Crisp adds that this is a month and a half from where the department wants to be.
He explained that between 80 000 and 90 000 doses are administered on average every day in South Africa. He believes that this should be at least doubled.
Crisp is encouraging younger people to get vaccinated against the virus. He has conceded that the younger populations in South Africa are much larger and vaccinating between 40% and 45% is proving difficult.