The South African Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, repealed regulations dealing with notifiable medical conditions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and on monkeypox. Since the first Nationwide Lockdown on 16th March 2020 there have been five waves of COVID-19. The last wave in June was very small with a much smaller death rate.
Screenshot of News24 COVID-19 webpage
The Minister quoted that a little over 50% of the population of South Africa has received one dose of vaccine with a big turnout amongst the elderly. In addition, the Omicron variant, which drove the fourth wave and spread quite widely and quickly, may have conferred natural immunity on a large segment of the population.
In addition to the repeal of mask outdoors the Minister has repealed the following regulated practices on 22nd June 2022
- Wearing of masks indoors
- Limitations of gatherings
- Vaccination proof or PCR negative tests at Ports of Entry
Practices like hand-sanitising and wearing of masks are still good for high risk spaces e.g., clinics. However the practices of routine hand-sanitising in shops, temperature checking and screening by questions are all quite outdated in the light of the pattern of disease transmission and should be reviewed by many organisations including the Department of Health and corporates.