Coronavirus News Africa

Lockdown: Cabinet wants scientists to weigh in before any new decisions are taken

  • Cabinet has decided to defer taking a decision on recommendations made by the NCCC on amending regulations under alert Level 3.  
  • It wants the group of scientists advising government to first present a full health assessment.
  • The recommendations on amending regulations under alert Level 3 comes after various sectors have made representations to government. 

Cabinet has deferred taking any decisions related to amending regulations under alert Level 3 of the national lockdown pending a full health assessment report from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19. 

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In a statement issued on Thursday, Cabinet noted that the National Coronavirus Command Council had made a number of recommendations to Cabinet but it decided to defer making any decisions on the matter.  

“The recommendations are based on submissions made by various sectors and deliberations by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure,” said the statement. 

This comes as the NCCC has been implored by lobby groups and the Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane to consider reinstating the alcohol ban. 

A case has also been made to the NCCC to reopen salons and hairdressers under alert Level 3 of the lockdown. 

While the NCCC had deliberated on inputs made to it, Cabinet wants the group of 50 scientists advising government to weigh in first. 

“However, Cabinet decided to defer approval of the recommendations pending a full health assessment report from the Ministerial Health Advisory Committee on Covid-19,” said Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams. 

The advisory committee is led by Professor Salim Abdool Karim. 

Williams said the NCCC is expected to receive the full presentation by early next week.

On Wednesday, there were 55 421 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa with 1 210 Covid-19 related deaths.  

“Cabinet once again appeal to and urge all South Africans to adhere and voluntarily comply with measures put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. The measures include regular washing of hands, social distancing and wearing of masks when in public,” Williams said. 

The country has been on alert Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown since 1 June which allows for most businesses to resume. 

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