By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19 has recommended that government impose tighter lockdown restrictions for the upcoming long Easter weekend.
The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 Professor Barry Schoub said the committee had advised the government to implement tougher restrictions in a bid to stem the tide of the coronavirus third wave hitting South Africa.
He said the tighter restrictions would be temporary and should be quickly lifted after Easter.
"This is a sensitive period of the Easter period where there is the vulnerability and the chance of the risk that we could have a super spreading event, with all the festivities and activities that go with the Easter long weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time," he said.
Experts have anticipated the third wave is likely to hit SA in April.
It is believed the National Coronavirus Command Council has advised the MAC to restrict gatherings and impose a 10pm curfew as well as a restriction on the sale of alcohol.
Meanwhile, the Medical Research Council (MRC) has warned a third wave was imminent.
Addressing Parliament’s Health Committee, MRC president Professor Glenda Gray said: "If you watch our burden of disease, we have seen weekly mortality rates, there is a slight uptick. We need to keep an eye and monitor the excess deaths in the country.
"In terms of the third wave, yes, I think we are all worried about the third wave, particularly after the April weekend, the Easter holidays as we go into winter, and as we spend more time indoors the third wave is imminent.
"If you watch our burden of disease, we have seen weekly mortality rates, there is a slight uptick. We need to keep an eye and monitor the excess deaths in the country."
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa is 1 540 009 and the total number deaths is 52 372.
The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol as at Wednesday is 207 808 and the cumulative number of the recoveries stand at 1 466 595, representing a recovery rate of 95%.