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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Will all Covid-19 regulations be scrapped?

Health minister Joe Phaahla says the health department disagrees with those who want it to drop all Covid-19 regulations. Stock photo.
Health minister Joe Phaahla says the health department disagrees with those who want it to drop all Covid-19 regulations. Stock photo.
Image: 123rf/kellyermis

Health minister Joe Phaahla has responded to calls for government to scrap all Covid-19 regulations, saying that is not on the cards. 

DA leader John Steenhuisen called for the scrapping of all Covid-19 regulations, saying SA has been slower than other countries at easing restrictions. Steenhuisen also weighed in on mask-wearing, saying this regulation needs to be scrapped and reserved for high-risk areas.

Speaking on the health department budget vote, Phaahla said the department disagrees with those who want it to drop all regulations. He said government gets no joy in inconveniencing citizens with restrictions.

“We say sorry where we have wronged you, but please be assured that all interventions were meant and are still meant for all of us to avoid the severe impact of Covid-19.

“We completely disagree with armchair critics who argue we should drop all public health measures and just let the virus spread at will and only worry about whether hospitals are full,” said Phaahla. 

He reiterated the measures government took using the Disaster Management Act were not meant to control people but to protect SA against the harshest impacts of Covid-19.

Phaahla said 70% of the population has come into contact with Covid-19 and stressed that vaccination remained the most effective response against the virus. 

He said more than 35-million South Africans were vaccinated, but millions still need to get their jabs. 

“While more than 70% of the population have had contact with the virus, and therefore we have some natural immunity, the truth is this immunity wears with time and cannot be boosted. While the virus is among us, the best defence is vaccination,” he said. 

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