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'Level 2 does not have sufficient impact': David Makhura hints at harder lockdown for Gauteng

Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Gauteng premier David Makhura has hinted at a harder lockdown level in the province, saying Gauteng was looking at “extraordinary measures”.

Speaking during his visit to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital at the weekend, Makhura raised concerns about the rate of Covid-19 hospital admissions. 

He said the province was forced to look at extraordinary measures to combat the spread of the virus amid a third wave of infections. 

“Level 2, as we have it now, does not have a sufficient impact because people are going on as if we [are] not in the middle of a raging pandemic,” said Makhura. 

“We are looking at extraordinary measures, including those we took last time,” he added, saying the province had asked for increased measures.

Makhura said, for the province to curb the spread of the virus, government would need the support of residents. 

“We need the support of the people of our province, at the moment all we can say is that we are not seeing a difference in the number of people gathering at places,” said Makhura.

He said the response to the second wave in January was amazing and everybody took measures to protect themselves “but at the moment we are not seeing that”.

“No one should say 'I got it (Covid-19) earlier on so I'm OK. I can walk around'. Even those who are vaccinated should continue to put on their mask,” urged Makhura. 

Speaking on SABC news on Sunday, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said SA was not near reaching herd immunity when it comes to its vaccination rollout. 

She said, because of the increasing Covid-19 cases nationally, her department would make recommendations to the national command council this week.

“We are not yet at a place where we have reached herd immunity and the basic things that we need to do to contain the virus remain critical. The wearing of masks and sanitising of hands are still very important.

“If South Africans continue to behave recklessly, numbers will go up. We are expecting to make other pronouncements on restrictions to the national coronavirus command council this week,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

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