SA records 1 659 new COVID-19 cases bringing total cases to 3 735 578.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 1 659 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 735 578.
This increase represents a 7.5% positivity rate.
Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 16 deaths, and of these, 1 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,132 to date.
Meanwhile the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted its official objections to the National Health Act amendments which are set to replace the country’s national state of disaster.
The DA's Michele Clarke said that there are numerous serious concerns with the proposal and it is very clear that the regulations were 'drafted with the sole purpose of shifting lockdown powers to the minister of health'.
Some of the specific concerns raised by the DA include:
- The forced quarantine, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive Covid-19 case.
- Forced testing and taking of bodily samples, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive Covid-19 case, or upon the mere suspicion of a positive test.
- Forced treatment or providing of prophylaxis, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive test. Currently, the only lawful prophylaxes for Covid-19 are the various vaccines as approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (SAHPRA).
- Trivial limitations on gatherings and funerals without the need for scientific-based evidence or input will continue to destroy small businesses and the entertainment and restaurant industry.
These regulations will also place undue burdens on employers and various establishments and possibly violate individual rights and freedoms of those persons who test positive for the virus – all while having no demonstrable effects on reducing the spread of Covid-19, Clarke said.
"The truth is that most countries have lifted their regulations entirely as new variants of Covid-19 seem to be less infectious. They have focused on regenerating their economies to limit the serious economic damage the pandemic caused on households.
"In South Africa, unemployment lines keep growing and instead of doing everything in its power to halt the economic decline, the ANC government seems focused on holding on to ill-gained powers. There should be no need whatsoever to return to another National State of Disaster through the Regulations of another piece of legislation."