Empty streets in Johannesburg during an earlier Covid-19 lockdown.

PHOTO: Rosetta Msimango/City Press

The South African Medical Association has called
for more restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 during SA’s third wave of
infections.The country moved to adjusted Level 2 lockdown
restrictions on Monday.But tighter curfews were needed, especially over
weekends, SAMA said.The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has
called for stricter lockdown regulations, saying a tighter curfew is needed,
especially over weekends.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the
country to adjusted Level 2 lockdown restrictions, with
an earlier curfew, starting at 23:00, and gatherings limited to 100 people
indoors and 250 outdoors.

“We also welcome the restriction on the number
of people at events: 100 people indoors and 250 outdoors. Although this is a
move in the right direction, it’s not enough, and stricter measures need to be
in place, especially for indoor gatherings with poor ventilation,” SAMA
chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said.

The adjusted Level 2 regulations have been criticised by opposition parties, who
have said the country needs Covid-19 vaccines instead of further regulations.

Coetzee also raised concerns about the “slow
rollout of the vaccination”.

Coetzee said:

The plan was to reach five million people in phase two of the rollout, but this is being hampered by the slow rollout and poor adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as possible poor ventilation that might be experienced in clinics administering the vaccine. Taxis carrying more than 50% of their capacity might increase the spread of the virus inadvertently as winter sets in. These and other issues require urgent attention.

Covid-19 fatigue, especially among younger people,
could also accelerate the increase in cases during the third wave, Coetzee
warned.

“We cannot be fooled into a false sense of
security around Covid-19. It is still out there, and still a threat to many
people. We simply have to ensure we do everything we can to curb the spread of
the disease, and we have to understand that each and every person has a role to
play,” Coetzee said.