South Africa ends COVID curbs including mask wearing
South Africa has put an end to COVID curbs including the wearing of face masks. Health minister Joe Phaahla published a notice in the Government Gazette on Wednesday, 22 June 2022, repealing the country’s COVID-19 regulations. These include the wearing of masks, curbs on gathering sizes and border checks for COVID-19. Minister Phaahla earlier this week suggested the restrictions be dropped following the decline in hospitalisations and reported cases.
An announcement regarding the regulations was only expected later this week after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet met on Thursday.
“I Mathume Joseph Phaahla, minister of Health hereby repeal Regulations 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions… in their entirety,” the two-paragraph notice states.
“The repeal of the regulations concerned will come into operation on publication in the Gazette.” Download PDF
Regulation 16A dealt with mask-wearing, 16B contained the regulations on gatherings and 16C were the regulations for international travellers entering South Africa.
The minister said his department has been working with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on monitoring the epidemic. As of mid-June, the critical indicators showed:
For these reasons, Minister Phaahla said the National Department of Health had planned to recommend to the cabinet that the regulations be repealed.
South Africa on Tuesday recorded 1 087 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 987 979. This increase represents a 7,8 percent positivity rate, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. In addition, the National Department of Health reported 20 deaths and of these, three deaths occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours.
The cumulative COVID-19 deaths are at 101 640 to date. The cumulative number of recoveries now stands at 3 872 768, with a recovery rate of 97,1 percent .
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