SA can't afford stricter lockdown warns business, as Mkhize 'confirms' 3rd wave
News24 is reporting that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned provinces that South Africa is in its third wave of Covid-19 infections:
The article quotes Mkhize as follows:
"Kindly note that the Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly. For all intents and purposes, we are in third-wave even if not fitting in technical definition. The numbers will no longer go down other than if we start intensive containment measures."
News24 says the statement is contained in communication that was widely distributed on Wednesday.
How worried is the country's business community about this latest development?
Bruce Whitfield gets comment from Martin Kingston, leader of the Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa (B4SA).
We are worried about the third wave; we're not worried about additional restrictions or higher lockdown levels.Martin Kingston, Leader - Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa
We're deeply concerned that the advent of a third wave as it is occurring at the onset of winter is going to present a very real risk to people's health... and our healthcare systems, but we can't in the economy afford now to see any lockdown measures increased over adjusted Level 1.Martin Kingston, Leader - Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa
Kingston seems confident that government is taking very seriously the recommendations from business.
We've advocated that we need to cap the scope for indoor and outdoor gatherings - as business we've said there shouldn't be more than 50 people indoors and no more than 100 people outdoors. And the scope for indoor gathering is going to be magnified as we move into winter... but I think the government has listened carefully to that.Martin Kingston, Leader - Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa
As far as the restrictions on restaurants and alcohol are concerned... we have been very clear in our weekly engagements with government through NatJoints... that we need to be able to monitor these movements very carefully.Martin Kingston, Leader - Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa
The economy is not in a position where we can afford such restrictions and government no longer has any fiscal flexibility to provide the type of support that it has provided over the past year... UIF and Ters have effectively run out...Martin Kingston, Leader - Economic Interventions Workgroup at Business for South Africa
The most important thing to do right now he says, is to accelerate the rollout of the vaccination programme as Phase 2 kicks in from Monday.
Listen to the conversation in the audio below:
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