Extending the State of Disaster when the COVID figures look this good would be a bizarre move – but it’s very much on the table.
South Africa is currently experiencing the type of COVID numbers that most countries would be desperate to report – and yet, Cabinet is likely to extend the increasingly-obsolete State of Disaster, due to a disagreement on policy.
WILL THE STATE OF DISASTER END ON TUESDAY?
At this point, it’s not out of line to say that keeping lockdown restrictions in place – when weekly deaths are in the teens and fewer than 1 000 new cases per day are being reported – would be a bit of a travesty.
The government is still torn on how to manage COVID going forward. It was initially proposed that the Health Ministry would be left with the power to dictate coronavirus management rules once the State of Disaster lifted. However, it has since been argued that the whole Cabinet must take responsibility.
DATA SUGGESTS THAT STATE OF DISASTER ‘NEEDS TO GO’
The State of Disaster is due to expire on Tuesday 15 March – and, thanks to bungling bureaucracy, lockdown rules are set to remain in place for at least another month. Just a few weeks ago, the government stated that February’s renewal of the emergency laws ‘would be the last’.
Alas, it looks like we’ll soon be reminded about the true value of a promise from the ANC. Ridhwaan Suliman, who has spent the last two years gathering and dissecting the COVID data for Mzansi, confirmed that South Africa is ‘approaching previous lows’ set during the pandemic:
COVID hospitalisations have dropped to a very meagre 200 per week.
Our average weekly deaths from COVID is now down to about 15-20.
New cases and test positivity rates have declined even further in March 2022.
In fact, at 6.2%, the test positivity rate is the lowest its been in MONTHS.
Hospitalisations decreased by 23% in the last week, and deaths were down by 52% in that time.
COVID STATS ‘APPROACHING PREVIOUS LOWS’
The CSIR researcher says there is now ‘little reason’ to remain under the State of Disaster laws… and the facts back him up. Let’s just hope someone in the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) sees this:
Weekly update of #COVID19 in South Africa🇿🇦
With hospitalisations and deaths approaching previous lows, probably little reason for 🇿🇦 to remain under a State of Disaster:
• Cases -7% ⬇️
• Tests -4% ⬇️
• Test positivity at 6.2% ⬇️
• Hospitalisations -23% ⬇️
• Deaths -52% ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1qKMdsAcIj
— Ridhwaan Suliman (@rid1tweets) March 13, 2022