Dlamini-Zuma shares ‘concerns’ about ending the State of Disaster

The State of Disaster Act was officially prolonged on Tuesday, in what is believed to be the last-ever extension for the lockdown framework. Government is preparing to let the legislation lapse on 15 March 2022 – but COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has aired some of her minor concerns.

Dlamini-Zuma flags ‘possible issues’ with ending State of Disaster

Dlamini-Zuma’s Ministry said yesterday that the extension followed a special Cabinet meeting held to determine the extent to which the management of the COVID-19 pandemic still requires the existence of the National State of Disaster – and the legal framework – to manage the virus outside the Disaster Management Act.

But there are several niggles that have been raised by the senior ANC figure:

Lifting all restrictions, she says, may lead to an uptick in new infections.
The threat of future variants remains a concern for NDZ, who has urged people to keep following COVID protocols.
The Minister is pushing for a higher vaccination rate, amid fears that not enough people have been immunised.
Dlamini-Zuma’s department is still trying to ‘find alternative measures’ to track new COVID outbreaks.

South Africa still prepared to ‘move on’

Despite these hang-ups, South Africa has indeed entered a new phase of its pandemic response – something Dlamini-Zuma willingly accepts. The ‘restrictions era’ of COVID-19 is winding down worldwide, and Mzansi is likely to join the likes of the UK and Scandinavia by dropping virus-inspired legislation in a month’s time.

“The country and indeed the rest of the world are now entering a new phase of the pandemic that requires us to manage to live with the virus. As we begin this period of readjustment, we should all be guided by the regulations. Lessons from other countries have taught us that the lifting of all restrictions may lead to an uptick in the number of infections.”

COGTA statement

Dlamini-Zuma urges continued COVID-19 compliance

COGTA also stated that the public still needs to wear masks at all times when in public, observe a social distance, wash hands regularly with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer and always ensure that they are in properly ventilated spaces.

[Read] @NationalCoGTA Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has gazetted a further extension of the National State of Disaster on COVID-19, until 15 March 2022 https://t.co/e7BdG1Fojm pic.twitter.com/IlMFa6TR6y

— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) February 15, 2022

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