With the Adjusted Alert Level 1 restrictions now eased in South Africa, Cabinet is reminding all citizens that Covid-19 has not yet been defeated. It is calling on those aged 12 years and older to vaccinate.
Cabinet’s announcement comes in the midst of news of sudden increases in Covid infections in countries such as the UK, Canada, South Korea and China.
A press release published by the South African Government News Agency on 25 March 2022 states: “Cabinet has reiterated that vaccination remains the best defence against the virus, and reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death.
“Although infections and deaths currently remain low in South Africa, we face a possible fifth wave in the coming weeks. The only defence we have is the scientific evidence showing the power of vaccines to save lives. Our country has already administered over 33 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Cabinet further welcomed the Code of Practice on the management of Covid-19 exposure in the workplace issued by the Department of Employment and Labour. This was developed following public consultation with the National Economic Development and Labour Council and will take effect when the National State of Disaster is lifted.
The Code of Practice will guide employers and employees in conducting or updating a risk assessment plan to limit Covid-19 infections in the workplace. It lists measures such as vaccination, social distancing and personal hygiene to safeguard workspaces.
National State of Disaster
In line with the recent extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 April 2022, Cabinet has called for the consideration of health regulations to regulate non-pharmaceutical safety measures such as the wearing of masks, social distancing, limits for gatherings and vaccinations.
Cabinet said this will also allow it to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems to mitigate the severity of COVID-19.
“The recent extension takes into consideration the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of State to address the impact of the disaster,” Cabinet stated.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced further interventions that are meant to get the country to embark on a new phase in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said government intends to lift the National State of Disaster as soon as public comment on the health regulations published by the Minister of Health has been completed.
All South Africans are invited to make comments on the draft regulations before the 16th of April. (Source: SAnews.gov.za)