NEWS & ANALYSIS

More stringent restrictions for hot spots will only cause chaos – FF Plus

Party says if screening and testing were executed properly, such drastic steps would not be necessary

Covid-19: More stringent restrictions for hot spots will only cause chaos

1 July 2020 

The FF Plus warns that implementing more stringent restrictions for Covid-19 hot spots will cause utter chaos and people will simply start to ignore the additional restrictions.

The announcement by the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, on SAfm late yesterday afternoon that stricter lockdown measures must be considered for hot spots in Gauteng, the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal contradicts what the Minister said just a month ago when he stated that the lockdown has already served its purpose and that further restrictions will not stop the spread of the virus.

The Minister needs to realise that if the government and his Department had made sure that the screening and testing processes were executed properly in all nine provinces, then such drastic steps would not be necessary. Further restrictions for hot spots will not achieve anything and will utterly destroy the communities and their economies.

These hot spots exist because the screening processes were inadequate and the government and Department of Health are solely to blame.

In the first few weeks of the lockdown, the government failed to make use of the opportunity to ensure that the health care system is improved, brought up to standard and ready. The government should have done more to identify the places were the virus initially broke out. Clearly not enough was done to combat the spread of the virus at places that are now hot spots in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that people cannot be kept under lockdown any longer and should that be the case, the public will simply start to ignore the lockdown measures. It will inevitably lead to clashes with the authorities. Nothing good can come from further restrictions.

One sure consequence is greater starvation among the people and that will increase the enormous pressure that the public and private health care sectors are already experiencing due to Covid-19. At this stage, there is no restriction that can make a real difference to the spread of the virus.

Covid-19 may still be around for as long as 18 months and the world will have to learn to accept that reality and effectively control and manage the virus. We must now focus on rolling out programmes to teach communities about the dangers of the virus and how to thoroughly put preventative measures in place both in communities and households.

Pro-active thinking about the matter is needed. For this we need to turn to scientists, medical experts and other stakeholders for advice and shun the ANC's politicking and stubbornness for the sake of the people's wellbeing.

Issued by Philip van Staden, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Health, 1 July 2020