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No reason stadiums shouldn’t open tomorrow

Wits University vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi has urged the government to accelerate its efforts to reopen sports activities across the country.

Minister of Health Dr. Joe Phaahla indicated on Friday that the government plans to end the national state of disasterand said the Department of Health was reviewing? regulations to get Covid-19 under control

Phaahla said his department will present new recommendations on Covid-19 regulation to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) in the coming week.

ALSO READ: Ending Disastrous Condition: Lifting Restrictions Too Soon?

There have been repeated calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the disaster.

The current state of disaster ends in Mar. 15

Saturday will mark two years of South Africa’s lockdown following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the disaster in March 2020


During an interview on enNCAMadhi said the state of disaster was “outdated” given the low trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

“I find it totally surprising that a country like South Africa is still talking about the number of cases rather than the number of people hospitalized and dying from Covid-19, which is an all-time low since the start of the pandemic. ,” he said.

The professor said the dire condition should have been lifted “months ago”. He also criticized the NCCC and the Department of Health “for being ignorant”.

READ MORE: Mandatory vaccine could soon be a reality

Speaking of Saturday’s Soweto derby, Madhi said the current rules are “unfit for purpose”.

†[The state of disaster] does more harm than good, because if football fans can’t go to those kinds of events, livelihoods are also affected [as some people sell at these events]†

“So there is absolutely no reason why FNB Stadium or Soccer City cannot be packed tomorrow, because that is what is happening in the UK and that has not been accompanied by an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

“Put simply, the National Coronavirus Command Council is fully aware of what is needed at this time and over time. Unfortunately, the National Ministry of Health [conceded] that it doesn’t seem to be reading the right page.”

The country is currently turned on adjusted level 1 lockdownwith the last changes implemented on January 31.

South Africa currently has a total of 3,681,437 cases, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)

Eighteen Covid-related deaths were also reported Friday, bringing the total to 99,517.

Nearly 32 million (31,989,917) vaccines have been administered nationwide from March 4

Stadium protests

The economic freedom fighters (EF) in January took to the streets to demand the immediate reopening of stadiums and other sports and cultural venues.

The EFF held a picket line outside the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in Pretoria, with red beret leader Julius Malema to argue that the opening of stadiums would stimulate the economy.

Stadiums have been closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, although the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has since changed the regulations.

READ MORE: Mthethwa hits back at Malema in line with stadium ban PSL

According to level 1 lockdown regulations under the Disaster Management Actonly a limited number of vaccinated spectators are allowed in the stadiums.

The regulations state that 1,000 people or less for indoor and 2,000 people or less for outdoor venues are allowed at sporting events.

Last month, the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) lifted the reluctance to allow fans back into stadiums for league games.

“The PSL, like us, must submit an application to the Minister of Sports for the return of fans. We, as Safa, should not be doing that on their behalf. So we have nothing to do with this… you saw us opening to fans in Bafana Bafana games,” Safa COO Lydia Monyepao told the sowetanLIVE

The National Football Supporters’ Association (Nafsa) has since staged a “peaceful protest” at Orlando Stadium ahead of Saturday’s Soweto derby, demanding that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) allow fans back into the stadiums.

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