SAMRC Calls For A Total Ban Of Gatherings In Gauteng

As Gauteng continues to lead the number of rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, the South African Medical Research Council is calling for a total ban on gatherings in the province.

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The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) is calling for a complete ban on gatherings in Gauteng, due to the rising number of daily COVID-19 infections in the province.

Virologist and Vice President for Research at the Council, Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, says it should also be urgently considered to discourage inter-provincial travel:

For the Gauteng Province, in particular, I think we could have even stricter lockdowns because we definitely need to counter the number of new cases. I would love to see all gatherings banned completely, except funerals.

"The other area that perhaps we could look at, and look at it in a different way, is the schools. It is not really to say that schools should be closed, but the schools that could do online teaching should be encouraged to do that. When the schools are closed, inter-provincial travel should be discouraged. It will be difficult to ban that completely, but it can be discouraged," Mphahlele continued to say.

Mphahlele also added that South Africa must double down on its preventative efforts to fight Covid-19, so as to avoid undergoing a crisis similar to that of India, where Covid-19 related deaths were more than 380 000.

We just don’t know how these new cases will unfold. It could be that we find ourselves in a situation like the one we have seen in India where things get out of control, hospitals are overburdened and they cant cope with new patients…we have to minimise that at all cost.

As of Thurday, 17 June, South Africa had a total of 143 437 confirmed active cases and Gauteng accounted for more than 50% of the national numbers.

Acting Health Minister, Mammoloko Kubayi-Ngubane went on to say that Gauteng is becoming one of the areas that are raising concerns for the department.

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